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House Democrats release bills to end shutdown

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House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) on Sunday released the text of four bills meant to end a partial government shutdown, now in its third week.

The House will first consider an appropriations bill that funds the Department of the Treasury and the IRS, Lowey’s office said. Other bills cover departments including Agriculture, Interior, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development.

“While Senate Republicans acting at the behest of President Trump have blocked our bipartisan, comprehensive plan to end the government shutdown, it is urgent that we take steps to reopen parts of the government that most directly affect working families,” Lowey said in a statement.

{mosads}“These bills, which have already passed the Senate on a 92-6 vote, do exactly that.”

Lowey’s office said the four bills are virtually identical to bills that passed the Senate overwhelmingly last August, adding that text of the bills was included in H.R. 21, which passed the House last week despite a White House veto threat.

Her office also said that the only substantive change between those bills and the four new pieces of legislation is language to ensure that furloughed federal workers receive back pay.

“Unless Congress acts, the American people will not receive their tax refunds, families will lose food stamps, homebuyers seeking mortgages will remain in limbo, and our National Parks will continue to accumulate garbage and waste. These bills will stop this chaos, get many federal employees back on the job, and ensure that key parts of the government are working for the American people. After we pass these four bills, the Senate should clear them and the President should sign them into law,” Lowey said.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Sunday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to take up Democratic bills to reopen parts of the government.

“What we ought to do is open up the government first. And that’s what we’re going to do,” Hoyer said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I would hope that Sen. McConnell would take the responsibility as the leader of the co-equal branch of government, the legislative branch, and send this to the president.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), meanwhile, said Sunday that she would support holding a Senate vote on bills passed in the House to reopen parts of the government unrelated to negotiations over funding for Trump’s wall along the southern border.

“I’m frustrated in the situation that we’ve gotten to this point where both sides appear to be intransigent,” Collins said on NBC. “It is not a sign of weakness to figure out a middle ground. I think that both sides need to indicate a willingness to listen and to compromise.”

Read text of bills here:

Financial Services and General Government

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies

Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies

Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

Tags Donald Trump Mitch McConnell Nita Lowey Steny Hoyer Susan Collins

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