MD, VA state lawmakers urge GOP leaders to pass 'clean' funding bill

Nearly 50 state lawmakers from Maryland and Virginia are urging GOP leaders on Capitol Hill to pass a “clean” government spending bill before next Thursday in order to prevent a shutdown.

ADVERTISEMENT
In a letter sent Monday to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (R-Ky.), the lawmakers said another shutdown would be “catastrophic” to their regional economy.

“A Republican induced government shutdown would wreak economic havoc on federal employees and their middle class families, and it would needlessly stifle much needed economic growth in Maryland and Virginia,” said the letter, signed by 46 Democratic lawmakers.

“We ask you to put politics aside and to pass a clean budget by September 30th to avoid a government shutdown,” they added.

The 16-day government shutdown in October 2013 cost Maryland $5 million a day in incomes and sales tax revenue, and Virginia lost a whopping $217 million a day, the lawmakers said.

During that shutdown, 800,000 federal workers were furloughed and another 1.3 million were required to keep working without knowing when they would get paid, they added.

“We, the undersigned, strongly urge you to consider these repercussions to our regional economy, before jeopardizing our already tenuous recovery with another government shutdown,” the letter said.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have not yet released a government spending package and they only have a handful of days left in session before next week’s Sept. 30 deadline.

Both BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJohn Feehery: A political forest fire Trump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery MORE and McConnell are being pressured by conservatives to defund Planned Parenthood in that funding bill. McConnell has said that tactic would be an "exercise in futility" under President Obama.

Last week, House GOP leaders appeared to be moving toward the alternative method of defunding Planned Parenthood through a reconciliation bill, targeting its mandatory funding. That strategy would not risk a government shutdown.

While each chamber will be in session for just a few days this week, Thursday will be dominated by Pope Francis’s visit and address to Congress.