This week, the Senate will consider H.R. 3935, a short term continuing resolution (“CR”) to fund government operations after the fiscal year ends midnight Saturday. We urge you to pass this reasonable approach to keeping the government open while Congress works to end the extremist Republican blockade of bipartisan appropriations bills.
H.R. 3935 would fund the government through November 17, 2023 and give Congress additional time to pass full-year appropriations bills. The CR would also extend the authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), and give Congress time to pass an FAA reauthorization bill that will keep aviation workers and passengers safe and improve working conditions for aviation employees. H.R.3935 would also maintain pay for federal firefighters responding to natural disasters and extend several critical health care programs set to expire.
This CR is our best hope to avoid a government shutdown which would be devastating for millions of hard working Americans and retirees. Nearly 1.2 million union workers will not receive their paychecks during a shutdown, leaving many of them unable to pay for necessities like mortgages and rent, food and utility bills. If a shutdown is prolonged, millions of families may lose access to their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) benefits, as will nearly 7 million women and children who rely on WIC benefits. Military personnel, air traffic controllers and other essential personnel would receive no pay during a shutdown and Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries would face longer wait times because of reduced staffing.
A shutdown is projected to cause a .2% per week loss in economic growth. The 2018-2019 shutdown cost the U.S. economy $3 billion. The 2013 shutdown reduced employment growth by 120,000 private-sector jobs. As the country continues to deal with higher interest rates and housing costs, these economic losses could force many working families into dire economic straits and propel our nation into a recession.
The Senate must pass this bipartisan CR and send it to the House so Congress can return to the business of passing all full year appropriations bills. At the same time, the House must stop demanding devastating cuts to education, workplace safety, workforce training, housing, child care and nutritional assistance as a condition of passing full year appropriations bills.
We applaud the bipartisan approach adopted by Senate appropriators and their decision to adhere to the budget agreement reached by President Biden and Speaker McCarthy. We urge the Senate to pass the short term CR (H.R. 3935) and take this vital step in preventing a costly government shutdown.
Director, Government Affairs