WASHINGTON – Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) joined Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and 18 of his colleagues in demanding that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer present a plan to the Republican Conference for how the Senate will take up and pass the 12 appropriations bills already approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee in a manner that respects an open amendment process and avoids a December omnibus spending package.
This letter comes with just 43 days of government funding remaining following the passage of a Continuing Resolution last week. Currently, the Senate is expected to recess for a state work period beginning Thursday, October 5 and ending on Monday, October 16.
Dear Leader Schumer:
The core constitutional responsibility of the United States Congress is the power of the purse, to set and authorize appropriations which fund the operations of the United States Government. Since 1977, Congress has only successfully completed its appropriations work of taking up, debating, amending if necessary, and passing all appropriations bills prior to the end of the fiscal year on September 30th four times. This is unacceptable. The American people deserve better.
Today, despite being past the September 30th deadline, with the Senate Appropriations Committee having already passed each of the 12 bills for our chamber, we have the best opportunity in decades to complete our work. We urge you to present a plan to the Republican Conference for how you intend to pass the remaining appropriations bills and conference them with the House in a manner that respects an open amendment process and which does not end in a December omnibus spending package.
This is a matter of the utmost importance. Nothing can stand in the way of this work. For this reason, we the undersigned senators pledge to withhold our support for any vote to proceed to items unrelated to appropriations bills.
Just 44 days remain until government funding once again expires on November 17th. There is no more important work for the Senate during this time than debating, amending and passing appropriations bills without resorting to a giant package dumped on the conference right before the December holiday. If you commit to this process, including an open amendment process, we believe there will be consent in the Senate to expeditiously consider these bills.
Senator Tommy Tuberville represents Alabama in the United States Senate and is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans’ Affairs, and HELP Committees.