WASHINGTON, DC — Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern (D-MA) tonight advanced the bipartisan Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Financial Services-General Government, and Interior-Environment Appropriations bills to the House Floor to end the Trump Shutdown ahead of the president’s address tonight. The legislation is virtually identical to the four appropriations bills that passed the Senate 92 to 6 in August. The rule allowing for consideration of these bills will be debated on the House Floor tomorrow. Chairman McGovern made the following remarks in the Rules Committee meeting tonight:
“I was hoping to start this meeting of the Rules Committee talking about the future. Instead, we’re dealing with the past. We’re cleaning up the mess created by the previous Majority. They enabled the president’s shutdown by refusing to take up Senate-passed bills to reopen this government. Instead, they passed a bill with money for a border wall that had no chance of passing the Senate.
I was on the floor multiple times pleading with the Republican Majority in the waning days of the last Congress to let us consider the bipartisan spending bills. And they refused.
But it’s a new Congress and a new Majority. One that will act responsibly to end this Trump Shutdown.
This president’s temper tantrum over his stupid wall should never have led to any part of this government being closed for business. And certainly not agencies like the Agriculture Department or the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which are totally unrelated to border security.
Food access for nearly 40 million Americans shouldn’t be at risk. FHA’s ability to help families achieve the dream of homeownership shouldn’t be at risk. The safety of Americans visiting our national parks shouldn’t be at risk. I could go on and on and on.
So we are here to do the responsible thing. To take up a series of four appropriations bills that recently passed the Senate: the Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Financial Services-General Government, and Interior-Environment Appropriations bills.
This president may be totally comfortable keeping this government closed for years, as he suggested recently at his press conference. But Democrats are not. This Trump Shutdown shouldn’t last another minute. And it wouldn’t need to if the House and Senate pass these bills.
Again, these are bills that recently passed the Senate by a veto-proof 92 to 6 vote. They passed the House as a package last week. We’re now giving members the chance to vote again on these measures, this time individually.
And let me remind my colleagues that Congress is a co-equal branch of government. If the president doesn’t want to sign these bills, both chambers could pass them with veto-proof margins and reopen the government without the president’s signature.
We are 17 days into this Trump Shutdown. Enough is enough.”