December 21, 2017

Harris Statement on Opposition to Stopgap Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris released the following statement tonight on the Senate’s passage of a short-term spending bill:

“Americans rely on the federal government to ensure our fundamental right to public safety, public health, and public education. I believe we must fund our government—especially for the brave service-members who defend our freedom. Instead, my Republican colleagues prioritized jamming through a tax bill to benefit corporations and the top one percent. And, they did so at the expense of middle-class families and the most vulnerable among us.

“Since the President terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September, more than 13,000 young people have had their protection expire and can now be deported. On average, more than one hundred more will lose DACA status each day Congress does not act. We promised these young people that if they gave us their information, led a lawful life and contributed to their communities, they would be protected from deportation. That is why I've repeatedly called for passage of the bipartisan DREAM Act. While I applaud the work of members on both sides to find common ground, a promise to do something down the road is not good enough. It is unconscionable that we have not yet acted and I will continue to fight to protect these incredible young people who have known no other country as their home.

“We must also keep fighting to ensure that every American has access to health care, especially our children. Right now, the parents of 9 million children across this country—including 1.3 million children in California—worry whether they will be able to take their child to the doctor the next time they are sick. That is not right. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has long had bipartisan support, but this Republican Congress has time and again put politics ahead of public health. If the majority can permanently cut taxes for the top one percent, they can act now to pass a long-term reauthorization of CHIP, community health centers, and other public health programs with bipartisan support. 

“And as Californians work to rebuild after the historic wildfires that continue to devastate our state, this bill does not do enough to help families who have lost homes and businesses. It is a basic responsibility that when disaster hits anywhere in America—whether it is a hurricane, snowstorm, tornado, or wildfire—we come to the aid of our fellow Americans. Yet, despite bipartisan requests from our delegation, this Administration has refused to request necessary disaster relief to rebuild. Californians are resilient, but we need a long-term commitment to provide relief to home owners and small businesses who have fallen victim to these fires. 

“It is critical that we fund our government—but when we fund our government, we must be sure to fund all of the priorities that are crucial to Californians and the middle-class. With this short-term and short-sighted spending bill, this Congress has said loud and clear that Dreamers, children, and families devastated by wildfires can wait—but corporate tax cuts can’t. I do not accept that. And I will continue to fight for a spending bill that puts hard-working Americans first.”