Passage of a continuing resolution came with the good, the bad and the ugly. The good included the prevention of a government shutdown, which would have hurt American workers, cost the government billions of dollars, and posed a serious threat to national security. In a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned that a shutdown could severely impact our cyber defenses. He said, “What better time for a cyber-attack by an adversary when much of our expertise might be furloughed?” In 2013, furloughs affected about 70 percent of the civilian workers in the intelligence community.
Another positive aspect of the continuing resolution is that it adheres to the strict spending caps that were put in place by this year’s budget resolution. These caps are essential to fixing Washington’s spending problem and paving the way for long-term reform.
The continuing resolution also ensures that fundamental pro-life provisions like the Hyde Amendment are still in effect. The Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortions, has been attached to appropriations bills for nearly four decades.
One bad aspect of the continuing resolution is that Senate Democrats have kept Congress from doing one of its primary jobs, which is to produce 12 appropriations bills each year. The House of Representatives has passed all of its appropriations bills, and the Senate has done the same in committee, under the leadership of Sen. Thad Cochran, who chairs the Appropriations Committee. This is the first time in six years for every Senate appropriations bill to clear the committee process.