Congress and the White House must agree on spending bills by November 21 to avoid a government shutdown.

The Senate is considering its first package of spending bills this week that includes funding for Amtrak, housing programs like the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Community Development Block Grants, and Section 8 rental assistance that communities in Delaware rely on, investments in the Delaware River and the Chesapeake Bay, programs that support Delaware farmers, research grants for Delaware universities, and the premier national biopharmaceutical manufacturing institute based in Newark.

Senator Coons is also pushing for $250 million in election security funding that has bipartisan support.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on key, expected Senate votes this week on federal spending bills that impact Delaware. Congress needs to pass 12 appropriations bills in order to avoid a government shutdown on November 21 when the current stopgap spending measure expires. Senator Coons, as the top Democrat on the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Subcommittee, is also working to move forward $250 million in badly-needed federal election security funding to upgrade election technology, improve cybersecurity, and help prevent future cyberattacks. This funding received bipartisan support earlier this year and is backed by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).

“Taxpayers in Delaware and across the country deserve a government that functions properly and isn’t constantly threatening to shut itself down over political disagreements. I’m determined to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep the government open, fund important domestic and overseas programs, and secure funding vital to the state of Delaware.

“I’m encouraged that this week, the full Senate is finally considering an initial bundle of four federal spending bills that will support our law enforcement professionals, advance rural development, invest in key housing and transportation programs like Amtrak, and promote job creation and economic growth in Delaware and across the country.

“I’m optimistic that we can work on a bipartisan basis to pass these important spending bills so that we can turn to other priorities like funding our military, investing in health care and education programs, and securing our nation’s election infrastructure from foreign interference. I also continue to urge the White House to drop President Trump’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall that won’t make us safer and won’t address our broken immigration system. I’m more than willing to support smart investments to secure our borders, and I’ve voted for tens of billions of dollars in border security funding, but Congress should not squander U.S. taxpayer dollars or allow funding intended for our military to be diverted to build the President’s ineffective vanity project along our Southern border.”

This week, the Senate is considering the following appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2020: The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill; the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies bill; the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies bill; and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill.

The Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill, which is co-authored by Senator Coons and includes $250 million in federal election security funds, is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks.