WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) issued the following statement regarding the recent bipartisan passage of a temporary budget deal (Senate Amendments to H.R. 2775) to avert disaster by re-funding government services until January 15, 2014 and avoiding default by extending the borrowing limit of the United States until February 7, 2014. While this is only a temporary measure, it reopens the government, relieves the threat of the first ever default on our nation’s debt, and will allow Senate and House budget conferees from both parties the opportunity to negotiate a long term solution for America’s dire fiscal crisis in a more constructive environment.
“Emerging from Congress’ seemingly endless deadlock, I applaud the President and my colleagues in the House and Senate for their extraordinary effort in reaching a path to reopen government, cancel furloughs, and raise the debt ceiling,” said Congressman Bishop. “With the lessons of this government shutdown revealed, I remain hopeful that Congress will learn from its mistakes, go into conference, and produce a reasonable, balanced budget that alleviates sequestration, creates jobs, reduces the deficit, and restores stability to our economy for the benefit of all Americans across our great nation.”
The Senate Amendments to H.R. 2775 will allow a bipartisan conference committee of the House and the Senate to continue talks on balanced deficit reduction and replacement of sequestration; provide for a suspension of the debt limit until February 7, 2014; authorize back pay for federal workers furloughed during the shutdown; give additional funding for the Veterans Affairs Department to provide overtime pay to reduce the claims backlog; and to require an expanded income verification process for individuals and businesses eligible for premium assistance under the Affordable Care Act. The deal also gives Congress the ability to vote to deny the Treasury’s extended borrowing authority through February 7, 2014, subject to a Presidential veto.
Congressman Bishop voted in favor of the Senate Amendments to H.R. 2775. The measure passed the Senate 81 to 18; passed the House 285 to 144; and has been signed by the President. The government is expected to be opened today, providing relief to federal workers, veterans, seniors, families, small business, and communities in Georgia and across America.