Senate Democrats Urge Speaker Ryan & Leader McConnell to Continue Bipartisan Budget Negotiations And Forgo Proposed Partisan Funding Bill That Would Underfund Efforts To Combat the Opioid Epidemic, Security Agencies like the FBI, Cancer Research, Veterans Healthcare, Rural Infrastructure And More

In New Letter to Republican Leaders, 44 Senate Democrats Outline Opposition to Partisan Legislation Known as a “CRomnibus”-- Currently Being Pushed by the House Freedom Caucus - Which Provides Full-Year Sequestration Relief For Military Programs But Not For Other Important Domestic Programs Key to Addressing Our Homeland Security, Health Care, And Veterans’ Needs Senate Democrats Urge Republican Leader To Keep Their Commitment To Continue The Bipartisan Budget Negotiations To Avoid Devastati

December 12, 2017

Washington, D.C – Senate Democrats today released a new letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urging the Republican leaders to continue bipartisan budget negotiations and forgo a proposed partisan funding bill that would underfund efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, security agencies like the FBI, cancer research programs at the NIH, veterans healthcare, rural infrastructure, and more vital domestic programs. The letter, which was signed by 44 Senate Democrats, outlines Democratic opposition to a so-called “CRomnibus,” which means a funding bill that provides full-year sequestration relief for military programs but not for other important key domestic programs, resulting in devastating cuts to homeland security agencies like the FBI, cancer research programs at the NIH, and opioid treatment funding at HHS.  

The full letter from Senate Democrats can be found below:

Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell:

We write to express our concern with reports that the House Republican leadership is considering sending partisan legislation to the Senate that would result in funding cuts to important homeland security, veterans, agriculture and health care programs.  As you know, Democrats and Republicans are engaged in bipartisan negotiations to craft a budget agreement for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 that would avoid devastating sequestration cuts to defense and domestic programs.  We urge you to keep your commitment to the bipartisan budget negotiations and forego any plans to consider partisan legislation known as a “CRomnibus.”

According to estimates, domestic programs will see at least $12 billion in cuts in FY2018 due to sequestration and other spending obligations.  Therefore, a “CRomnibus,” which means a funding bill that provides full-year sequestration relief for military programs but not for other important domestic programs, would result in devastating cuts to homeland security agencies like the FBI, cancer research programs at the NIH, and opioid treatment funding at HHS. 

There is a better path – let the bipartisan negotiation continue in good faith so that Democrats and Republicans can produce a budget agreement that fully funds our homeland security, health care, and Veterans’ needs.  If presented with partisan legislation that leaves these key priorities behind, we will oppose it.

Sincerely,

Senator Charles E. Schumer

Senator Patrick J. Leahy

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Senator Patty Murray

Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Richard J. Durbin

Senator Jack Reed

Senator Bill Nelson

Senator Thomas R. Carper

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Maria Cantwell

Senator Robert Menendez

Senator Ben Cardin

Senator Bernard Sanders

Senator Sherrod Brown

Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Senator Jon Tester

Senator Tom Udall

Senator Jeanne Shaheen

Senator Mark R. Warner

Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Michael F. Bennet

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Al Franken

Senator Christopher A. Coons

Senator Richard Blumenthal

Senator Brian Schatz

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Senator Christopher Murphy

Senator Mazie K. Hirono

Senator Martin Heinrich

Senator Angus S. King, Jr.

Senator Tim Kaine

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Edward J. Markey

Senator Cory A. Booker

Senator Gary C. Peters

Senator Chris Van Hollen

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Senator Maggie Hassan

Senator Kamala D. Harris

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto