U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09) today voted for House Joint Resolution 20, a continuing resolution to provide funds for the federal government for fiscal year 2007.  The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 286 to 140.  Smith issued the following statement:

“Today the House had to make difficult choices to clean up the mess Republicans made last year when they failed to pass nine of 11 appropriations bills to fund the United States government.  While not perfect, this continuing resolution will allow us to move past the irresponsibility of the last Congress and actually function as a governing body with oversight responsibilities over the President’s impending budget proposal for next year.

“Those in the minority party today complained of a closed process.  I understand their concern, but much of it seems to come from a case of selective memory on the part of House Republicans.  Over the last ten years, the House has considered 75 continuing resolutions and all of them were considered under a closed process with no amendments.  Further, Republicans had an entire year to provide input into this budget when they were in control, but they instead walked away from their responsibility.

“The resolution was written with input from Republicans in both houses of Congress.  This process is the only way to give the Senate time to consider this legislation to prevent a government shutdown. 

“Today’s continuing resolution is an effort to make the best of a bad situation and perhaps the only feasible way to clean up the Republican mess.  This measure has been stripped of earmarks and funds critically important priorities like Veterans Affairs, Defense Department housing, and research at the National Institutes of Health.  Also, it freezes congressional pay until the American people get their minimum wage hike, and it will allow us to move on to the President’s budget and exercise some real oversight for the first time in years.”