House Cleans Up Budget Mess

Jan 31, 2007

(Washington D.C.)- The Democratic House of Representatives today passed H.J.Res. 20, a Continuing Resolution funding the Federal Government aimed at cleaning up the budgetary mess left by the Republicans last Congress, on a vote of 286 to 140. The new Congress set priorities by providing additional funding for key Veterans healthcare, highways, and education programs, while putting moratorium on all earmarks until a reformed process is put in place to restore an accountable, above-board, transparent process for funding decisions.

"While I am pleased that Michigan will receive the road funding it was promised, this budgetary mess could have been avoided if the last Congress had done its job," said U.S. Rep. Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak). "By setting some limited priorities and putting a moratorium on earmarks, Democrats have taken the first steps toward restoring fiscal responsibility to the Federal Government. However, more hard work is ahead of us." 

The 110th Congress was put in a position to pass a Continuing Resolution because the then Republican Congress failed to pass any domestic spending bills at the close of the 109th Congress. Today, the House-passed measure provides $463.5 billion to fund programs in the nine of the eleven appropriations bills that were not completed by the 109th Congress last year.  These funding bills were supposed to be completed last October 1.  The bill generally holds funding at the FY 2006 levels, but provides additional funding for critical needs, including veterans' health care; medical care for U.S. troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan; medical research, and key education programs.  The bill also places a moratorium on Members' earmarks until a reformed process is put in place to provide an accountable and transparent process for funding these projects. 

The measure now moves to the U.S. Senate for their consideration.