From the office of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulksi:
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today called for a long-term solution to cut spending and fund the federal government. In the face of an impending government shutdown, Senator Mikulski voted to pass a budget to keep the government operating an additional two weeks. However, Senator Mikulski said, the government can’t continue to run on installments.
The full text of her statement follows:
“I am absolutely opposed to a government shutdown. We should never, ever shut down the government of the United States of America. It puts our nation at risk and it puts our economy at risk.
“Shutting down our government is bad for middle-class families. It disrupts services Americans rely on for their health and safety. It’s also bad for jobs. It creates unemployment in the public and private sector. It has a negative impact on small businesses contracting with the government, whether it’s for supplies, personnel or leased space.
“That’s why today I voted for a two-week extension to avoid a shutdown. I agree the government needs to be frugal and thrifty. Senate Democrats already cut $41 billion from the President’s fiscal year 2011 budget by freezing funding at last year’s levels. And in the temporary extension, we approved another $4 billion in cuts.
“But we can’t be foolish and dangerous. I’m against waging a war on women in children in this country. The House Republicans have proposed extreme cuts to nutrition programs for women and newborns, life-saving preventive cancer screenings for women and early childhood education like Head Start. Every time we start talking about deficit reduction, we throw women and children under the bus first. This is unacceptable.
“These cuts are an attack on middle-class families. Cutting Pell Grants will make it harder for many of our brightest students to pay for college. And instead of helping the thousands of Americans looking for work, these cuts will hurt the unemployed by slashing job training.
“The cuts are also an attack on seniors who rely on Social Security. They could force field offices to shut their doors, send employees home with no pay – and mean longer lines and slower service for seniors who need help.
“There are cuts that we can all agree on. I’m for cutting military equipment that is outdated and not needed. That means $2.8 billion in savings. I’m for cutting wasteful military construction projects that could easily be funded privately. That gives us $78 million in savings. I support cutting aid to Pakistan that’s been squandered through corruption. That leads to savings of $300 million. The list goes on.
“My way of getting Congress off the dime and passing a budget for 2011 is by not giving us a dime. I support Senator Boxer’s bill that shuts down pay for the President and members of Congress if there’s a government shutdown.
“We can’t continue running the government in installments. It’s not a lay-away plan. We need to pass a budget for the rest of the year that is frugal and makes our country safer and our economy stronger.”