House Votes to Keep Federal Government Open
Washington, September 21, 2021
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) voted with her Democratic colleagues in the House of Representatives to fully fund the federal government, deliver much needed aid to states hit by natural disasters, support Afghan evacuees, and protect the full faith and credit of the United States.
“Working families have overcome so much in the past eighteen months. The last thing they need is out of touch politicians in Washington jeopardizing their recovery by causing a debt crisis,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “Today’s vote gets us one step closer to fulfilling our obligation to fund key federal programs necessary to our recovery, deliver aid to folks reeling from recent natural disasters, honor our responsibility to our Afghan partners, and protect our credit. It’s disappointing that House Republicans refused to join us in that effort. Senate Republicans should stop playing politics with people’s lives and get on board. The American people expect nothing less.”
The government funding portion of the legislation extends funding for vital federal agencies through December 3rd, including education, health, housing, and public safety programs needed by working families to keep themselves safe and recover from the pandemic. The funding will also grow opportunity through early child education, investments in schools, and high-quality job training programs; provide a lifeline to the vulnerable families and individuals through nutrition and affordable housing assistance; and honor Congress’ solemn responsibility to support veterans.
The emergency disaster funding portion provides $28.6 billion to support states still responding to recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Ida, wildfires, severe droughts and winter storms, and other recent disasters. This funding will help working families, small businesses, and communities get back on their feet and rebuild.
The supplemental appropriations to support Afghan evacuees includes $6.3 billion to temporarily house allies at American facilities and in foreign countries, provide necessary security screenings, and ultimately resettle evacuees in the United States. The legislation also includes funding to provide humanitarian assistance for Afghan refugees in neighboring countries.
To meet the obligations that the U.S. government has already made and to protect the full faith and credit of the United States, the legislation suspends the debt limit through December 2022. This would provide an amount of time commensurate with the debt incurred as a result of passing last winter’s bipartisan $908 billion emergency relief legislation, which passed with the strong support of Republican lawmakers and was signed into law by the previous president.
Since 2011, Congress has had to suspend or raise the debt ceiling seven times. Each time, a bipartisan majority of members has done so without incident. Passage of this legislation will ensure that Congress lives up to the American people’s expectation that their government will meet its obligations, including to Social Security recipients and veterans.