Rep. Chu Statement on Republican Short Term Spending and Disaster Relief Bills
Washington, D.C.— The House of Representatives today passed a limited disaster relief bill and a continuing resolution to keep the government funded through January 19, 2018. Prior to their consideration, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) called for comprehensive action to not only keep the government open, but to also fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), answer the President’s call for a solution for undocumented immigrants, and adequately meet the needs of all areas hit by natural disasters this year, including California, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Rep. Chu voted against both bills and released the following statement:
“Once again, when it comes to our most fundamental purpose in government – keeping it funded and functioning – Republicans have us doing the bare minimum. Instead of passing a true budget, they offered another short term patch that kicks the can down the road. And in doing so, it leaves much work needlessly undone, like providing relief for the 800,000 Dreamers waiting on the DREAM Act or the 9 million low-income children who need CHIP reauthorized so they can continue receiving medical care. So thanks to Republican dereliction of duty, not only is it impossible for the government and our military to make long term plans, but neither can undocumented immigrants and their families who are instead worried they could be deported at any moment. And on the state level, the only plans they can definitively lay out after this vote are for how many more days until they run out of money meant for healthcare for poor children. Also left behind in today’s votes are the people of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands who are still struggling with recovering from the disastrous hurricanes earlier this year. In pure dollar amounts, this bill falls far short of what is needed by the islands. And beyond that, it exacerbates the lack of funding by failing to address cost sharing with FEMA or the coming Medicaid cliff.
“What we needed were long term bills that provided the needed funds for our most vulnerable populations. What we got was another short term patch that leaves urgent problems unaddressed. This cannot go on. It’s bad governing and it’s bad for the people. I am voting no today but do so with the hope that Republicans will bring forward a full budget and adequate disaster relief bills that meet the needs of our country, not the needs of an arbitrary Republican deadline.”