All four of Virginia’s Republican congressmen voted against a continuing resolution to continue funding the government through December 16, 2022; the bill passed Friday with just 10 votes from Republicans nationally, sending the bill to President Joe Biden, who signed the legislation the same day. In press releases, three of the Virginia Republicans criticized the bill for continuing Democratic spending. Representatives Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07) and Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), both in competitive elections in swing districts, criticized Congress’ use of continuing resolutions but said the bill is necessary to keep government open.
Representative Rob Wittman (R-VA-01) cited similar good-governance concerns as his reason for voting against the bill.
He said Friday, “Today’s passage of a Continuing Resolution – an irresponsible stop-gap measure – is an unfortunate reminder of Washington’s ‘budget by crisis’ mentality. We can’t continue to find ourselves in these completely avoidable situations, especially when passing a budget and funding the government are the most basic responsibilities of Congress. We are already facing incredible economic hardships as a nation, and continuing resolutions only increase this burden. Under a Continuing Resolution, all spending remains the same, meaning that we can’t fund new programs, cut outdated ones, or plan for the future. Simply put: continuing resolutions are a short-term solution to a long-term problem, and we need to change this culture in Washington.”
That’s similar to other criticisms Wittman has made of Congress’ approach to funding the government.
In her own release, Luria called for an on-time budget in the future.
“The passage of a continuing resolution is not cause for celebration. It was a vote to avoid a government shutdown, which would threaten our national security, jeopardize our commitment to Ukraine, negatively impact the economy, and devastate Coastal Virginia,” she said. “Subverting the normal appropriations process and relying on a patchwork of continuing resolutions severely impacts the ability of our military and defense industrial base to plan investments in our national security and counter the threats we face around the world.”
Spanberger said in her own release the bill is “the bare minimum.”
“The American people are all too familiar with this stopgap, Groundhog Day process that involves narrowly avoiding a government shutdown year after year. Democrats and Republicans must work together to improve our budget procedures — because families in Virginia and across our country deserve the peace of mind that their lawmakers will keep the government open and protect their jobs, livelihoods, and access to government services,” she said.
Spanberger has built an identity as a moderate who bucks Democratic leadership, but Republicans say that’s an election-year ploy that doesn’t reflect the way she votes in Congress.
Representative Donald McEachin (D-VA-04) was less critical of the continuing resolution than his Democratic colleagues Luria and Spanberger. He touted natural disaster relief in the package, including for areas hit by Hurricane Ian; $12.3 billion to aid Ukraine; resources for a water crisis in Mississippi; help for low-income families to facing higher energy bills during winter; a reauthorization of FDA user fees, and more resources to resettle Afghan refugees.
“It is imperative that our government remains open and working for the American people, which is why I voted for today’s stopgap funding measure,” McEachin said in his own release. “Not only does this bill fund our federal government, it includes important provisions to help hardworking Virginians with rising costs. Furthermore, this legislation provides necessary resources to help communities impacted from recent natural disasters and additional assistance to support the Ukrainian people, as Russia continues its aggressions. During this extension, we will continue working to advance all the necessary appropriations bills to fully fund our government for the coming fiscal year.”
Representatives Ben Cline (R-VA-06) and Bob Good (R-VA-05) warned that the bill continues Democratic policy instead of addressing potentially messy economic issues ahead of the upcoming election.
“Virginians are facing an inflation crisis, a fentanyl crisis resulting from an open border, an energy crisis, and a crime crisis – all created by President Biden and Democrats’ radical agenda,” Representative Ben Cline (R-VA-06) said. “Instead of confronting these crises, Democrats are kicking the can down the road until after the election so they can have an opportunity to retain control. I voted against this legislation because Americans cannot afford two more years of Democrats’ taxpayer-funded, out-of-touch, inflationary policies.”
“All Republicans should be against continuing the irresponsible Biden-Pelosi spending spree that has contributed to the record levels of inflation currently decimating family budgets. This Administration refuses to secure our southern border, protect innocent life, end extreme and harmful ‘climate’ initiatives, terminate the unjustified COVID-19 mandates, stop promoting CRT and other non-academic indoctrination in schools, or stop the weaponization of the FBI, IRS, and other agencies against the American people. Until the Biden Administration puts Americans first, Republicans should not give them one more vote to take one more cent from hardworking taxpayers,” Congressman Bob Good (R-VA-05) said in a release.
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Abigail Spanberger” by Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger. Photo “Donald McEachin” by U.S. House Office of Photography. Photo “Elaine Luria” by Congresswoman Elaine Luria. Photo “Ben Cline” by Congressman Ben Cline. Photo “Bob Good” by Congressman Bob Good. Photo “Rob Wittman” by Rep. Rob Wittman. Background Photo “Virginia State Capitol” by Ron Cogswell. CC BY 2.0.