FMA APPLAUDS SWIFT ACTION BY CONGRESS ON HURRICANE RELIEF - September 8, 2017
Dismayed about over-reliance on continuing resolutions
Alexandria, VA – The House of Representatives approved a Hurricane Harvey relief bill today by a vote of 316-90. This follows the Senate’s action to approve it by a vote of 80-17. The bill provides $15.25 billion for hurricane relief. It also includes temporary spending to fund the government at current spending levels via a continuing resolution through December 8, 2017, and extends the debt ceiling. The bill now goes to President Trump’s desk to be signed into law. Federal Managers Association (FMA) National President Renee Johnson made the following comments on the passage of the legislation:
"First and foremost, FMA is grateful Congress took immediate steps to provide necessary relief funding in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. It was vital for Congress to act expeditiously to help the city of Houston, and all people affected by the hurricane, begin the recovery process. As Florida and the southwest prepares for Hurricane Irma, we expect Congress to act in a similar, prompt manner. FMA is thankful for all of the public servants at the National Weather Service, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard and all other federal agencies and departments who help American citizens in such times of crisis, and every other day of the year. These public servants are taken for granted all too often, and it is times like these that underscore their exceptional value to our country.
“In regard to the approaching end of Fiscal Year 2017, we certainly prefer a continuing resolution over a government shutdown and appreciate that Congress took action at this time. However, I’d be remiss if I did not express FMA’s severe frustration and concern with Congress once again relying on a short-term CR to fund the government. Keeping the government operational is Congress’ first responsibility and should be its top priority. Continuing Resolutions force managers and supervisors to focus on short-term operations and less on their core missions, impeding efficiency and ultimately costing the government – and American taxpayers – more money in the long-run. This lack of stability results in uncertainty, unpredictability, and inhibits all government services, from national defense to domestic programs.
“The public servants I noted above, as well as the federal employees charged with national security, processing tax returns and Social Security payments, caring for our veterans, protecting our food supply, and countless other services, represent the best of America. It is essential they get the resources they need to carry out their missions, and that is particularly underscored in light of the cleanup of Hurricane Harvey and preparation for Hurricane Irma. Congress must get back to regular order and avoid its over-reliance on Continuing Resolutions.”