U.S. Senator Katie Britt, R-Ala., has partnered with Senator Pete Ricketts, R-Nebr., and 15 other Senate members to pressure Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., into altering the Senate’s schedule. The bipartisan group is urging the Senate to remain in session until the completion of debates and subsequent passage of all 12 appropriations bills.
This plea arises in the aftermath of a narrowly avoided government shutdown, thanks to a continuing resolution extending funding through November 17. Senator Schumer has slated the Senate for a recess until October 16, following a day off the past Monday. The chamber was also dormant throughout August.
In their letter, the Senators emphasized, “While it’s invaluable for Senators to work within their respective home states, it is paramount for us to stay in Washington, D.C., and ensure the appropriations tasks are accomplished. The American populace anticipates and warrants this from us.”
The letter elaborates on the critical timeframe available: “With government funding secured until November 17, there’s a seven-week window for the Senate to review the fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills. Given the past nine weeks’ precedent, we can’t afford any weekdays off, let alone an entire week.”
Senator Britt remarked, “My colleagues and I have worked hard this year to advance all 12 individual appropriations bills out of committee through regular order. However, in order to enact judicious, strategic, transparent, and accountable spending measures that benefit the American people, it’s incumbent on Senator Schumer to utilize a novel concept – actually making the Senate work,” said Senator Britt. “Alabamians know this this is simply common sense, but that is unfortunately uncommon in Washington, D.C.”
While the Senate Appropriations Committee approved all 12 appropriations bills in June and July, the Senators argue that August and September would have been opportune moments for detailed discussions and adjustments, leading to the final endorsements well ahead of the September 30 deadline.