December 7, 2017
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) issued the following statement after voting no on the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through December 22, 2017:
“The hasn’t worked in more than four decades. I have been a vocal critic of the current system, which largely rubber-stamps federal spending with very little debate or discussion. This year, working within this broken system, we gave negotiators extra time to work out a compromise on spending. Now we are one day from their extended deadline and yet no closer to a deal than they were three months ago. So they are asking for more time to negotiate, with a new deadline just before the holidays, hoping it will add pressure for Members to accept conditions they may otherwise disagree with. This is not good policy.
“A number of us have worked on proposals to modify our current budget ‘process’ – a term I use loosely – so that we can actually do the work we were sent here to do: make informed policy decisions and make certain the federal government is being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. Yet Congress continues this pattern of passing short-term, stopgap spending bills.
“I cannot, in good conscience, lend my support to this continuing resolution that merely continues federal spending and whose lone policy change could actually end up hurting South Dakota families. If we are ever to get our spending under control, eliminate wasteful programs and provide much-needed stability for our military, we must reject the status quo.
“This practice will not change until more of us send the message that we must either repair this broken system or we get our work done on time. The American people expect no less.
“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I am concerned about the impact continuing resolutions have on military readiness. Military leaders have repeatedly warned our committee of the dangers that these short-term, stopgap spending bills have on their ability to adequately train, equip and maintain the force. In particular, under continuing resolutions, the Defense Department is restricted from starting new programs which is deeply concerning in today’s rapidly-changing threat environment. An example is the mounting cyber threat to our armed forces and our civilian critical infrastructure. If we are to adequately recover readiness levels that were lost over the last eight years as well as modernize our armed forces in this increasingly dangerous and complex world, we must give them the funding stability and certainty that continuing resolutions fail to provide.”