Groups Call on Congress to Finish Appropriating as Feb. 18 Funding Deadline Approaches

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Groups in the Clean Budget Coalition are calling on federal lawmakers to finish appropriating, with the Feb. 18 government funding deadline just two weeks away.

Passing 2022 appropriations is key to supporting our communities and protecting our country, the coalition maintains. A long-term CR would mean another year with outdated, insufficient funding levels for priorities like veterans and health research. Ultimately it harms businesses, taxpayers, and infrastructure when Congress repeatedly passes continuing resolutions. Lawmakers on both parties need to reach a deal on spending levels to fund our government for the year ahead.

Below are quotes from coalition leaders:

 

“The time is now to finish the budget. The Groundhog-Day cycle of continuing resolutions we are currently trapped in hurts regular Americans and make it impossible to fund projects and programs at the levels required. Completing an appropriations package for this fiscal year is essential to meet the demands of the moment – to protect and improve the economy, and to deal with health and well-being during the pandemic. Simply put, we should not be this far into Biden’s tenure, and still functioning under a budget that the former president signed. We urge completion of a full appropriations package without legacy poison pill riders to fund the government at levels that make sense.”

  • Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president, Public Citizen
    Press Contact: David Rosen, drosen@citizen.org

 

“As we approach the third year of this pandemic, it is clear that communities across the U.S. and around the world still need support from Congress. We need Congress to write a spending bill that meets those needs and provides key investments in health care – including sexual and reproductive health – in an equitable fashion, without restrictions. We do not have a minute to waste.”

  • Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
    Press Contact: media.office@ppfa.org

 

“The continuing resolution is an unreliable stopgap, and now more than ever our economy even needs a greater level of certainty. Successful businesses and investors rely on firm plans, and this start-then-stop budgeting by the federal government is bad for business and bad for the taxpayers.”

  • Thomas Oppel, executive vice president, American Sustainable Business Network
    Press Contact: Michael Neuwirth, mneuwirth@asbnetwork.org

 

“For months, Congress has failed in its duty to deliver a budget, and our communities and national parks continue to pay the price. Without a budget deal, our parks that are already underfunded and understaffed likely will be forced to cut even more staffing positions. And essential programs that would address climate change impacts will not be expanded – or worse – not be funded at all, leaving clean water, wildlife habitats, and cultural sites at risk. There’s a solution on the table, and Congress must work together to provide needed relief for our communities and national parks now.”

  • Theresa Pierno, president and CEO, National Parks Conservation Association
    Press Contact: Angela Gonzales, agonzales@npca.org

 

“Congress must act now on an omnibus spending bill to avoid further jeopardizing programs that are critical to enforcing labor rights for all workers, but especially Black people and people of color – including immigrants and disabled workers that are particularly vulnerable during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The lack of robust investment in labor rights enforcements over decades across key federal agencies and programs like the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board continues to put at risk the health, safety, and rights of workers nationwide.”

 

“Congressional budgets should be a reflection of our nation’s priorities and values – and we know that the vast majority of Americans support reproductive freedom. Congress must pass an FY22 budget that centers what our families and communities need to thrive. In the midst of an unprecedented assault on reproductive freedom, it is more important than ever that Congress advances spending bills that help us build a future where each of us truly has the freedom to make our own decisions about our families and futures. The budget must expand funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning programs, permanently end the anti-choice global gag rule, and roll back discriminatory abortion coverage bans.”

  • Kristin Ford, vice president of communications and research, NARAL Pro-Choice America
    Press Contact: Ally Boguhn, media@prochoiceamerica.org

 

“This month, Congress has the chance to finalize the appropriations bills and vote on a large funding measure that would provide resources to federal agencies, state programs, and local projects that have been dangerously underfunded the past five years. Passing an FY22 omnibus will deliver much needed dollars to communities overburdened with the negative impacts of the climate crisis. These funds offer tangible solutions, such as lead service line replacement or hyperlocal air quality monitoring, that will equitably improve public health protections and elevate our nation’s progress toward a clean energy economy. EDF hopes our nation’s leaders will approve these critical investments to make good on the national promise to build back better.”

  • Elizabeth Gore, senior vice president of political affairs, Environmental Defense Fund
    Press Contact: Cecile Brown, cebrown@edf.org

 

“Resorting to another CR would be catastrophic. We can’t keep passively funding old prerogatives from an administration voted out of office. We need to fund today’s priorities, especially the ones Congress has authorized that are bipartisan.”

  • John Bowman, managing director of government affairs, Natural Resources Defense Council
    Press Contact: Anne Hawke, ahawke@nrdc.org

 

“Our communities suffer when our government agencies, like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are only funded for weeks or months at a time. The distribution of resources to these communities can be disrupted, staff cannot be hired to fill vacant positions, and new programs cannot be implemented without full-year funding. Every month that we do not have a full-year spending bill is a month when Congress is missing the opportunity to support our coastal communities, businesses, and the wildlife that depend on healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems. It’s time for Congress to finish the budget process and pass a full-year budget.”

 

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can’t move forward when it is working with outdated and inadequate budgets. Congressional delays in approving this year’s spending for federal agencies threaten our ability to make strides on modernizing drinking water systems and tackling water pollution. These delays are hampering EPA from getting the clean water investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law into communities’ hands and hampering efforts to update drinking water contaminant limits and controls on water pollution including PFAS chemicals. Congress needs to break this logjam so federal agencies, including EPA, can make progress on programs the public supports and expects to function at a high level – including clean water, reducing health threats from air pollution, and tackling the climate crisis.”

  • Lynn Thorp, national campaigns director, Clean Water Action
    Press Contact: Michael Kelly, mkelly@cleanwater.org

 

“After a decade of draconian spending caps and four years of the Trump administration trying to slash budgets and use riders to stymie environmental safeguards, Congress must pass a clean, fully funded budget without delay. A yearlong continuing resolution would keep these untenably low budget numbers in place and continue to hamper the federal government’s ability to reduce and remediate harmful pollution, advance environmental justice, protect our lands, waters, and wildlife, and so much more. We need an all-of-government approach to meet the challenge of the climate crisis, as envisioned by the Biden-Harris administration. And once the Senate passes the climate, clean energy, jobs, and justice investments at the center of the Build Back Better Act, we will need sufficiently funded and staffed federal agencies in order to equitably deliver these transformational benefits to all families and communities.”

  • David Shadburn, government affairs advocate on climate change and clean energy, League of Conservation Voters
    Press Contact: Emily Samsel, esamsel@lcv.org

 

“Educators, healthcare workers, and public employees across the country are heroes for their efforts during this pandemic, but the pandemic has also exposed structural inequalities in foundational services like our public schools. COVID relief funding was vital to address the new needs that arose during the pandemic, but it was not sufficient to make up for historic underfunding. Fortunately, Congress now has the opportunity to address those inequities in a meaningful way through the fiscal year 2022 budget process. But necessary progress — like doubling funding for low-income schools and moving toward fully funding education for students with disabilities — is only possible if Congress passes FY 2022 appropriations bills. Simply extending last year’s funding levels through a continuing resolution would be an enormous missed opportunity to provide schools with the resources they urgently need to be able to help every student recover and thrive.”

  • Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers