Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District spoke yesterday on the House floor on the importance of swiftly passing a clean funding bill that will end the government shutdown, fund the national laboratories, and ensure that lab employees are not furloughed. House Republicans are bringing up piecemeal bills that fund portions of the federal government, but fail to provide full funding to end the shutdown. Below are Luján’s remarks on the floor.
“Mr. Speaker, funding for the NNSA is critically important to my state of New Mexico, where we are home to both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs. However, this bill denies these national security labs the funding they need as it locks in the deep cuts of sequester for two more months.
“There is not a member of this body, Democrat or Republican, that says they like the sequester, Mr. Speaker, but my Republican colleagues refuse to lift it. And they say they want to keep the government open, but they place conditions on it.
“This piecemeal approach in this bill to the Department of Energy and the NNSA is picking winners and losers with employees that are going to be furloughed. This is a shame and it’s a sham. This Republican charade that is going to go home to my state of New Mexico and direct the directors of the lab to tell employees who is going to go home without a paycheck and who will not, because there is still not assurance that the Secretary of Energy, through the Department of Energy, will make these employees whole through an allowable cost that will be accepted. Enough is enough.”