Rounds Statement on Government Shutdown
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) made the following statement on the government shutdown:
“For the 19th time in the 44 years since the modern budget process has been in place, the federal government has once again shut down because Congress could not get its work done on time. South Dakotans sent me to Washington to make informed policy decisions and be a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars. Continuing resolutions, which are just extensions of last year’s budget levels, fail to provide long-term certainty and stability, while government shutdowns waste taxpayer dollars. Reform of the budget process is absolutely necessary, however our immediate responsibility is to deal with the current government funding crisis. I will work with my colleagues to end this unnecessary shutdown as soon as possible.
I have encouraged the bipartisan immigration reform efforts because the H2B visa program is important to many South Dakota businesses, and our economy in general. I support strengthening our border security as a priority. Progress is being made on this effort and we believe an agreement can be reached within a February timeframe. Unfortunately, while our Democrat colleagues have filibustered the continuing resolution, which includes Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funding, and bear responsibility for the current government shutdown, I believe there are a number of them who are very serious about finding a solution. This is important to South Dakotans because there are over 16,000 kids eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program in our state. This program is currently in jeopardy.
I’ve been a vocal critic of the continuing resolution process, particularly regarding its effect on our military, but I agreed to vote for it this time because I have received assurances that a vote on defense appropriations will occur in the Senate. I’ll continue to push for improvements to our budget process – but this is not a balanced way to govern.”