Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico’s Third District called on Republican leaders to keep the House in session to work on the many critical issues facing Congress and the American people. After tying together legislation to extend the Highway Trust Fund for only three months and a bill to ensure Veterans Affairs clinics around the country have funding to remain open through the fiscal year, House Republicans adjourned today and will remain out of session until September 8. This marks the earliest adjournment date in a decade and it comes at a time when Congress needs to provide long-term funding for highways and roads, faces a September deadline to fund the government, has not sent a single, bipartisan appropriations bill to the President’s desk, and has failed to take action to strengthen the Voting Rights Act.
“The American people send their representatives to Washington to fight for them and to make progress on the critical issues facing our country,” Congressman Luján said. “Yet all they have seen from the Republican-led Congress has been dysfunction and one manufactured crisis after the next. In the last month, House Republicans’ dysfunction has been on full display, from their decision to punt on a long-term highway bill to their insistence on protecting the Confederate battle flag that brought the appropriations process to a halt. This Congress has a job to do for the American people and we should stay in Washington until we make real progress that will help hard-working people get ahead and stay ahead.”
The highway bill provides billions of dollars in investments for roads, highways, and bridges. These funds support construction jobs throughout New Mexico while increasing our nation’s competitiveness. House Democrats have called for a vote on a robust, long-term bill that provides states and localities with the certainty needed to plan major transportation projects. The bill funds these projects by stopping corporations that seek to renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes and using that money to put people to work improving our roads and highways. House Republicans have blocked multiple efforts to bring this legislation up for a vote.