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Spanberger Votes to Keep Government Open, Avert Shutdown

Washington, February 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement after voting in support of an agreement to avoid a government shutdown.

“The repercussions of the record-long government shutdown are still reverberating throughout Central Virginia. Last month, federal employees, contractors, small businesses, and working families in our district experienced unnecessary financial pain as a result of gridlock and hyper-partisanship in Washington.

“Today, I voted to pass this bipartisan legislation, because Central Virginians cannot afford to go through another crippling shutdown. This compromise bill came as the result of weeks-long negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House, and it represents the best solution at this time to responsibly maintain the basic function of our government and strengthen our border security. It also includes additional funding for critical infrastructure improvements, rural development projects, and resources for local law enforcement officials.

“A disagreement over policy is never a reason to shut down government. Since the record-long shutdown ended, I’ve pushed for bipartisan conversations on how to better secure our borders and ports of entry in a smart, effective, and forward-thinking way. And I believe that we can have these discussions without hurting the federal workforce or harming the economic strength of our country.

“Declaring a national emergency would similarly be a serious mistake—and it could actually jeopardize our national security. This drastic action would undermine the constitutional authority of Congress to allocate and manage taxpayer dollars, and it would set a troubling precedent for how future administrations could widely interpret their emergency authority, no matter their party affiliation. And should emergency funding for the President’s declaration be pulled from our military budget, it could compromise the safety of our communities, the lives of our men and women in uniform, and our ability to monitor, identify, and intercept pressing national security threats both at home and abroad.

“As a former CIA case officer, I know that invoking a national emergency should not be taken lightly. Congress needs to reassert its authority, and we must preserve the basic checks and balances in our system of government. I will continue to push for bipartisan solutions to fix our country’s significant challenges, but we should always seek to operate in a way that fixes what’s wrong with Washington, not in a way that further stokes division.”

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