By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Friday, December 16 U.S. Representative Terri A Sewell (D from Selma) released a written statement to explain the reasons why she supported the Continuing Resolution (C.R.). H.R. 83 avoids a government shutdown and keeps the government funded until the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
Both many conservatives and liberals opposed the omnibus C.R., nicknamed the “CROmnibus.” Conservatives objected to the fact that it funded President Obama’s controversial healthcare reform plan popularly known as Obamacare through next year as well as the President’s executive orders on immigration. Conservatives, including Alabama Senators Jeff Sessions (R) and Richard Shelby (R) favored a short term C.R. that funded the government only until February when Senate Republicans would be reinforced with new GOP Senators who just won elections in November.
Liberals, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) objected to many conservative provisions in the over 1,700 page bill including: a provision increasing the amount of money that wealthy individuals can donate to political parties, a loosening of some new investment banking regulations, and a perceived weakening of some environmental regulations.
Rep. Sewell said in a written statement, “After much consideration, I voted in favor of the 2015 funding bill notwithstanding my serious objections to several provisions in the bill. Ultimately, my vote for this bill was a vote to keep the federal government operating. While flawed, this bipartisan bill avoids another government shutdown at the hands of political brinkmanship and reflects a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. The bill provides increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, support for needed infrastructure projects, expands funding for childcare and special education grants, and ensures emergency funding to combat Ebola. Alabamians deserve the certainty that comes with federal funding of the programs and services they depend upon.”
The CROmnibus is the result of a compromise between Speaker of the House John Boehner (R), Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D from Nevada), President Barack H. Obama (D) as well as moderates from both political parties. Rep. Sewell was one of 57 House Democrats who joined 162 Republicans to pass the legislation 219 to 206.
President Barack H. Obama (D) voiced disappointment with some of the spending priorities in the CROmnibus; but still signed the bill into law to avoid another government shutdown.
The C.R. did not fund the Department of Homeland Security past the end of February, setting up another battle over President Barack H. Obama’s controversial executive amnesty in February when the Repulicans will control the U.S. Senate for the first time since 2006.
Congresswoman Sewell represents Alabama’s Seventh Congressional District. Rep. Sewell is the only Democrat in the Alabama Congressional Delegation. Sewell is the first Black Woman to represent Alabama in the Congress.