WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today voted with a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House to pass a short-term agreement that would keep the federal government open through November 21, 2019.
“In January, we witnessed the crippling effects of a record-long government shutdown. Many federal employees were furloughed or continued working without pay to keep vital jobs filled, our government functioning, and our borders, airways, and country protected. While I am certainly glad to avoid another senseless shutdown, we shouldn’t be content with the congressional status quo of doing the bare minimum and lurching from one budget crisis to the next,” said Spanberger. “As we find ourselves staring down another looming shutdown, it’s overwhelmingly clear that Central Virginians deserve a better budget procedure than this Groundhog-Day, stopgap funding process. Going forward, we need to recommit to the principles of working together, passing a fiscally sound budget, and responsibly investing in the shared priorities of the American people.”
The bipartisan bill includes funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which provides much-needed financial assistance to crop and livestock producers impacted by the administration’s ongoing trade wars. Earlier this week, Spanberger urged House Appropriations negotiators to include this provision in the short-term funding agreement after reports surfaced that House leaders were considering the removal of language to greenlight the MFP payments.
“As the administration continues to engage in prolonged trade wars, Central Virginia producers are feeling the sting of market instability—and they continue to express their concerns about the prospect of losing long-term relationships with their buyers abroad. At this moment of great uncertainty in the farm economy, blocking trade aid is the wrong move,” said Spanberger. “I’m encouraged that House appropriators heeded the calls of House Agriculture Committee Members to continue MFP payments. As Central Virginia crop and livestock producers continue to suffer due to misguided trade policies, I’ll keep fighting for ways to keep our district’s farms afloat, sustain our rural communities, and expand access to global markets.”
Click here to read a summary of the short-term funding legislation.