WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) delivered opening remarks at the first meeting of the bipartisan House-Senate conference committee charged with reaching an agreement on the FY2019 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. Blunt is a member of the committee, along with six of his Senate colleagues and 10 House members.
Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Remarks:
“What I heard here of all the early presentations, just a great example of how much information members of the Appropriations Committee have. I think that's one of the reasons it's so important we figure out how to come to a conclusion here that's successful. That means a conclusion that ultimately the president will sign and becomes law. Well, what we did last year in a good way, was we funded 75 percent of the government before the beginning of the fiscal year like we're supposed to do, and when we saw that happen, I just think that produces a much better result than what we’d seen in the previous years where at the end of the day, you have the two House leaders, and the two Senate leaders, and somebody from the White House trying to do everything after the fiscal year has already begun, afraid to share that information with anybody outside the room, because once you break the code, then everybody wants to know about everything. That is just - nobody is well served by that. The leaders aren't well served by that. The country is not well served by that. Sending these big bills, one big bill, to the president, nobody is served well by that.
“Let's at least consider the things we can do in this conference besides just get the rest of the government funded that helps us get our job done next year. There is a reason that the normal process works. It worked for 75 percent of the government funding this time. Our goal between now and September 30th should be to get it to work for 100 percent of the government funding. … This is our first real opportunity to show that we can do our job.
“I think it's really important we produce a result. And if there are a couple of other problems right over the near horizon that we can deal with while we're dealing with funding the rest of the government, I would encourage us to think about that, too. And I think with the leadership at these two head tables, we can do that if we decide that's what we want to do, and I look forward to seeing what we can produce.”