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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5305 - Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act

September 21, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House)
(Rep. DeLauro, D-CT)

The Administration strongly supports passage of H.R. 5305, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act.

H.R. 5305 would keep the federal government open, provide disaster relief, and avoid a catastrophic default so that the government can continue serving the American people without interruption as we continue to confront a pandemic, recover from and respond to disasters, and power an economic recovery. At the same time, the window provided by this short-term Continuing Resolution will allow movement toward bipartisan agreement on smart, full-year appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022 that reinvest in core priorities, meet the needs of American families, businesses, and communities, and lay a strong foundation for the future.

In addition to providing short-term funding for core government operations, H.R. 5305 provides $6.3 billion in emergency spending to support Operation Allies Welcome, a multifaceted, historic interagency mission. The operation to move out of danger and to safety tens of thousands of Afghans at risk, including many who helped us during our two decades in Afghanistan, represents an extraordinary military, diplomatic, security, and humanitarian operation by the U.S. Government. The Administration appreciates the funding provided to the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement to provide resettlement and essential support services to individuals relocated to the United States from Afghanistan, as well as legislative language that would make these individuals eligible for federal benefits. However, the Administration is deeply disappointed that the bill fails to provide the authority requested to fully resettle Afghans, and to adjust their status, thereby obstructing them in building successful new lives in their new communities in the United States.

The Administration also strongly supports the $28.6 billion in disaster relief funding to help impacted states and tribes recover from recent extreme weather events and natural disasters. This includes disasters from the last 18 months—such as Hurricanes Laura and Delta—for which there are remaining unmet needs. We also appreciate the down payment for more recent disasters, including wildfires and Hurricane Ida.

Finally, the Administration strongly supports suspending the debt limit until December 2022, which will preserve the full faith and credit of the United States and avoid a catastrophic default. The length of this suspension represents obligations that bipartisan majorities in Congress strongly supported incurring last year as part of this nation's response to COVID—indeed, bipartisan majorities even took public credit for incurring these necessary expenses. Having led and passed legislation authorizing these expenses, these same bipartisan majorities should honor the obligation to fund them. Suspending the debt limit allows the Treasury to finance spending Congress has already authorized and to keep its commitments without causing disruption or harm to our economy and families. This is a bipartisan responsibility that must be met in a timely fashion, just as it was three times under the prior administration, and almost 80 times in the last 60 years under administrations from both parties.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to pass full-year appropriations bills in December that make bold, forward-looking investments in our future.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5305 - Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/353903

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