Montana's Congressional leaders weigh-in on shutdown aversion vote

Capitol Building
Posted at 8:03 AM, Nov 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 16:02:43-05

Congress voted this week on a Continuing Resolution to expand the Federal budget until 2024. The U.S. Senate took the risk of a government shutdown off the table in a late Wednesday vote following a House vote on Tuesday.

The Senate voted in favor of the stopgap funding 87-11 ending the fiscal stand-off in Congress.

The vote comes as an early October motion to oust former House Speaker Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). That vote left the House of Representatives without a speaker for nearly three weeks. Montana's 2nd Congressional District Representative Matt Rosendale (R-MT) was one of many GOP House members at the forefront of the vote to oust Rep. McCarthy (R-CA).

The House and Senate passing the stopgap funding package buys the nation two months before a new agreement should be debated. The new funding vote will come days after the Iowa Caucuses in the 2024 Presidential election.

US Representative Matt Rosendale (R-MT) has criticized the Biden Administration for its policies. His office issued a news release to MTN News stating that the Continuing Resolution supports Biden policies and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's budget.

“Our nation is facing over $33 trillion of national debt," said Rep. Rosendale. "Our credit has been downgraded. Something must change. Unfortunately, this CR changes nothing. Instead, it subjects the American people to two more months of Joe Biden’s policies and Nancy Pelosi’s budget, which is why I voted against it."

US Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) also sent an email to MTN News regarding Daines' decision to vote in favor of a Continuing Resolution.

“I supported passage of today’s government funding bill because it avoids Congress wasting taxpayer money on a giant catch-all backroom spending deal at the end of the year," said Sen. Daines. "It also ensures our troops keep getting paychecks at Thanksgiving and Christmas and provides certainty for Montana farmers and ranchers by extending vital farm programs.”

The email also stated that the Continuing Resolution will continue funding for the current Farm Bill legislation, since Congress has yet to pass new bill. As part of the vote, Senator Daines voted for an amendment to cut spending 15 percent across the board, excluding the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Programs for agriculture, the FDA, and water funding is set to expire for on January 19, 2024. All other federal operations including defense would expire on February 2, 2024. Inside the aid package, it doesn't include military relief for Israel or Ukraine.

At the time of this article's publishing, neither US Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) or US Representative Ryan Zinke (R-MT), the two other Congressional leaders from Montana, had issued statements to the media.