(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate cleared a continuing resolution that will extend the government funding deadline from September 30th to December 3rd, narrowly avoiding a government shutdown. Shaheen has participated in negotiations to reach an agreement, during which she supported the inclusion of resettlement assistance for Afghan refugees who were recently evacuated, many of whom served as U.S. allies during the 20-year war in Afghanistan. The funding bill also includes federal aid for disaster relief to help communities devastated by Hurricane Irma. The legislation will next be sent to the House of Representatives before it is delivered to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
“On behalf of Granite Staters and all Americans, I’m very relieved an agreement was reached to stave off a government shutdown, but let’s be clear – it never should have come to this,” said Shaheen. “Senate Republicans’ obstruction is needlessly, and dangerously, forcing one manufactured crisis after another. It’s shameful Mitch McConnell’s partisan politics not only pushed us to the brink, but also failed to address the debt ceiling which is a looming fiscal crisis that we must address swiftly. The American people deserve better than this – they deserve a Congress that legislates responsibly and puts people before politics. I’m glad we’ll be averting one financial emergency today and that urgently needed federal assistance will soon make its way to our communities devastated by Hurricane Irma and to help Afghans as they start their new lives here in the United States. But our work is far from over. Senate Republicans need to end the political charades so we can raise the debt ceiling to meet our financial obligations – which has historically been a bipartisan priority – and responsibly fund the government in the long term so our municipalities and people have the economic certainty they need and deserve.”
Last week, Shaheen delivered remarks on the Senate floor slamming Senate Republicans for their obstruction that nearly forced a government shutdown and which continues to risk the U.S. going over the fiscal cliff if it does not raise the debt ceiling, which Democrats worked with Republicans to raise three times under the Trump administration.
Senator Shaheen historically partnered with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on efforts to protect Afghans who’ve risked their lives to support U.S. diplomatic efforts abroad by strengthening the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program. She continues to lead bipartisan efforts in Congress to reauthorize additional Afghan SIVs. The President signed into law key provisions from the Afghan Allies Protection Act, a bill led by Shaheen and Senator Ernst, as part of spending legislation. Their legislation helps protect the Afghan civilians who risked their lives to support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, Shaheen questioned Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and top military officials during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of U.S. military operations and future U.S. policy in Afghanistan.