Press Releases

U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) and a group of 15 U.S. Senators are urging U.S. Senate leadership to keep the chamber in session to expedite floor consideration on funding bills and President Trump’s nominees, even if the U.S. Senate must work nights, weekends, and through the August state work period to make substantial progress before the end of the fiscal year, September 30.
"As I told the President yesterday, we should not be debating a government shutdown in September,” said Heller. “Congress needs to do its job now and get the government funded before we break in August. If we don’t, we should work through August recess. Period.”
 
In the absence of any long-term solution to the nation’s fiscal challenges, Heller has repeatedly urged Congress to do its job and pass a concurrent budget and all of its appropriations bills on time. He is the author of the No Budget No Pay Act, legislation that requires Members of Congress to pass a budget and related appropriations bills on time each year in order to receive pay.
 
In a letter to Senate leadership, Heller and his colleagues wrote, “We stand ready to break through the confirmation backlog and get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline. We stand ready to work Mondays and Fridays, nights as well as weekends, to ensure the funding process is not used to jam the President with a bad spending deal. We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness. The President has outlined an agenda that will unleash economic growth, strengthen our military, and rebuild our infrastructure. We play a critical role in advancing this agenda, so together let’s make Congress work again.”

Heller’s push for the chamber to work on nights, weekends, and through August if necessary follows his fight this fall when he urged leadership to turn the Senate on full-time to deliver tax reform to the American people and confirm more conservative judges to the federal bench.
   
In addition to Heller, senators signing the letter include: Senators David Perdue (R-GA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
 
The full text of the senators’ letter is available HERE and below:
 
Dear Leader McConnell,
 
We continue to witness historic obstruction by the minority party when it comes to funding the federal government and confirming the President’s nominees. If we are complicit, we are on track for another last-minute spending battle come September. However, if we take action now, we can break the cycle of continuing resolutions and omnibus spending deals. Therefore, we want to offer our full support to expedite floor consideration, even if we must work nights and weekends and forgo the August recess to get it done.
 
Looking ahead, there are only 67 working days left on the calendar this fiscal year. That number drops to 52 if you exclude Fridays, as we usually do. This leaves only 12 weeks to get 12 appropriations bills out of committee and consider them on the floor. That alone is an impossible task. When combined with the crucial need to confirm more nominees, it is clear we do not have enough time.
 
The Senate should immediately begin work on one or several consolidated appropriations bills, so they can be openly debated and amended accordingly. Our defense priorities are bipartisan, and they should come first. Similarly, we need to move quickly on executive and judicial nominations. At this pace, it is unlikely the President will have all of his nominees confirmed before the end of his term. Many of us encouraged cancelling August recess last year to meet our legislative goals. As a result, the Senate confirmed 77 nominations with no floor debate, a significant concession from the minority party. Our diligence was rewarded with reason, and it can happen again.
 
We stand ready to break through the confirmation backlog and get the government funded before we break in August, well before the September 30 deadline. We stand ready to work Mondays and Fridays, nights as well as weekends, to ensure the funding process is not used to jam the President with a bad spending deal. We, and the American people, expect Congress to work tirelessly to restore American greatness. The President has outlined an agenda that will unleash economic growth, strengthen our military, and rebuild our infrastructure. We play a critical role in advancing this agenda, so together let’s make Congress work again.
 
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