Senate Democrats

Reid, Durbin, Schumer Call On Republicans To Immediately Begin Negotiations On Bipartisan, Long-Term Budget Package

After Passing Two-Week Stopgap With Cuts Proposed By Democrats, Senators Call On Republicans To Join Negotiations With Senate Democrats, White House

Washington, D.C.–Today Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin and Chuck Schumer called on House Republicans to immediately come to the table with Senate Democrats and the White House to begin negotiations on a long-term solution to cut spending and fund our government.

“Rehashing the battle over funding the government every two weeks is bad policy because it creates uncertainty for businesses, and our economy can’t afford it,” Sen. Reid said. “The time has arrived for Republicans to come to the table to begin negotiations with Senate Democrats and the White House immediately on a long-term package,” Sen. Reid said. “Republicans insisted on a two-week timeline. Now they have a responsibility to set aside threats of government shutdown if they don’t get everything they’re demanding. They need to be prepared to negotiate immediately and reach an agreement quickly.”

After passing a two-week Continuing Resolution with $4 billion in cuts originally proposed by Democrats, the senators called on Republicans to come to the table with the White House and Senate Democrats to craft a long-term budget agreement.

“Continuously passing short-term funding bills without addressing the long-term needs of the government is ineffective and inefficient,” Sen. Durbin said. “It’s time for the Senate, House and President to sit down like adults and compromise to reach an agreement on a long-term solution that will put defense, homeland security and other critical federal services on sound footing for the rest of the year. After we finish that, I hope we can begin the serious dialogue of putting the entire federal government on a sound footing for the next generation.”

“We just bought another two weeks’ worth of time with this stopgap measure, but the clock is already ticking until March 18,” Sen. Schumer said. “If Republicans are serious about negotiating a responsible compromise on a long-term measure, House Republicans should immediately accept the invitation from the White House. Two-week stopgap solutions only delay the adult conversation we need to have. This is a stalling tactic by the House Republicans because they are unwilling to enter serious negotiations. It has grave consequences to continue doing business in this way. In the last week, nonpartisan economists have told us that the uncertainty about whether the government will remain open or shutdown has a fiscal drag on the economy.”