WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Democrats today urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule the first round of bipartisan budget negotiations immediately to prevent a predictable fiscal crisis as the federal budget year draws to a close on Sept. 30. The call was formally made in a letter to McConnell signed by all 46 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.
In the letter, the Senators emphasized concern that, with less than two months left in the fiscal year, Sen. McConnell has yet to schedule bipartisan negotiations to ensure a budget agreement is reached that rolls back sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills and the government is kept open.
Full text of the letter is below.
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
S-230 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20150
Dear Leader McConnell:
There are less than two months left in the fiscal year, and we are deeply concerned by the fact that negotiations to craft a bipartisan budget agreement have not yet begun. With the end of the fiscal year looming, we urge you to immediately schedule bipartisan budget negotiations so that we can work together over the coming weeks to avoid another manufactured crisis.
Inaction and failure to responsibly restore sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills will have real consequences for our country. That is why we are eager to start working as soon as possible to negotiate a compromise that will keep our nation and economy strong, and keep the government open.
With the existence of a clear and urgent deadline for action, we believe it would be unwise to wait until after the Congress returns from the August state work period – just 23 days before the end of the federal fiscal year – to begin talks on a path forward. We cannot afford to wait, only to let delay and inaction bring us to the brink of another totally predictable and completely preventable crisis.
We are ready and willing to work with you to produce a fair and balanced Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. Therefore, we respectfully request you schedule the first round of these important negotiations as soon as possible.
Mark R. Warner
Richard J. Durbin
Charles E. Schumer
Patrick J. Leahy
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
Mazie K. Hirono
Edward J. Markey