Congressman Cuellar Votes to Keep the Government Open
Appropriations Committee Member Applauds a Number of Provisions
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement today on the continuing resolution, or funding mechanism, approved by the House to continue funding for the federal government until December 11, 2015:
“I am glad this continuing resolution came to the floor today. Keeping the federal government funded is vitally important. Doing so will allow us to continue paying local Homeland Security staff as well as our military. It will also allow us to continue funding crucial education, health care and transportation projects that our community needs as well as keeping all the other federal agencies open. Failing to keep the government open beyond today will cause great harm in a number of ways to my district.
Although I know the fight to work out a funding resolution has been contentious, it is important that we keep the government funded and not allow it to lapse into another shutdown. I thank leadership for bringing this continuing resolution to the floor. However, we must be careful not to let this become precedent. I am encouraged by Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s recent two-year budget talks with President Obama to hopefully head off another crisis like this.
“After reviewing the continuing resolution, I decided that I would vote for it. In reviewing the legislation, I was particularly pleased to see a number of provisions.
“The continuing resolution includes language allowing the Small Business Administration (SBA) flexibility in its funding to accommodate demand for 7(a) business loans. 7(a) loans are the most common type of loan given out by the SBA. In 2014, the program helped 52,044 U.S. small businesses with an average loan amount of $368,737.
“The continuing resolution includes an extension of the Immigrant Investor (EB-5) Regional Center Program. Created by Congress in 1990, the EB-5 Program allows immigrant entrepreneurs to apply for a green card if they make investments in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. or plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The Regional Center Program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, sets aside EB-5 visas for immigrants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers, which facilitate investment in job-creating economic development projects by pooling capital raised under the EB-5 immigrant investor program.
“Finally, the continuing resolution offers support for veterans by allowing the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) to maintain increased staffing levels to help eliminate the disability claims backlog. Reports differ as to the exact size of the backlog, but it numbers at the very least in the tens of thousands.
“With all these provisions in place, as well as many others, we can keep our government going and help the many people in our district to whom the federal government has a responsibility.