October 15, 2013

Kaine Statement on Status of Senate Bipartisan Proposal

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement tonight on the status of a bipartisan proposal in the Senate to re-open government and pay the nation’s bills:

"Yesterday the Democratic and Republican Senate leadership announced progress on a bipartisan deal to re-open government, ensure that America honors its fiscal obligations, and, at long last, begin a two month budget conference between House and Senate negotiators to find a long-term fiscal compromise to grow our economy, fund core priorities like national defense and deal responsibly with our deficit.

Today, I was extremely disappointed to learn that negotiations were being suspended on this bipartisan approach to allow the House Republican majority to form a partisan plan that might have a chance of passing the House, but without any Democratic participation or support.  Needless to say, the suspension of bipartisan negotiation in exchange for more partisan gamesmanship is a reckless development as the nation suffers under a government shutdown and the threat of default.

It is absolutely clear that solving our nation's fiscal challenges in a divided Congress will require a bipartisan process where House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, agree to compromise for the good of the country.  That is the reason why the bipartisan negotiation in the Senate held such promise.

I ask my Senate colleagues – Democrat and Republican – to renew the effort to promote a bipartisan compromise that involves a budget conference between both houses.  That is the only way to solve our current fiscal crisis."