1:05 PM EST
Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I have in my hand a letter. This is not a letter from Democrats. This is a letter from 13 Republican leaders, chairs of the subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee, who say to the budget conference committee: Bring a solution to the floor before the Thanksgiving break and no later than December 2. Yet, ladies and gentlemen of this House, Mr. Speaker--and yes, Mr. Speaker, all of us speak to the American people, who ought to be asking us, Why? Why? Why do we waste

time when so much important work remains to be done?

Defeat the previous question. Allow us to offer a resolution which will say to the American people, We will continue to work until we get your work done.

CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,

COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS,

Washington, DC, November 18, 2013.

Hon. Paul Ryan,

Chairman, Budget Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Hon. Chris Van Hollen,

Ranking Member, Budget Committee,

House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Hon. Patty Murray,

Chairwoman, Budget Committee,

U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Hon. Jeff Sessions,

Ranking Member, Budget Committee,

U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

Dear Chairman Ryan, Chairwoman Murray, Ranking Member Sessions, and Ranking Member Van Hollen: We call on the Budget conference to reach an agreement on the FY 2014 and 2015 spending caps as soon as possible to allow the appropriations process to move forward to completion by the January 15 expiration of the current short-term Continuing Resolution. We urge you to redouble your efforts toward that end and report common, topline levels for both the House and Senate before the Thanksgiving

recess, or by December 2 at the latest.

If a timely agreement is not reached, the likely alternatives could have extremely damaging repercussions. First, the failure to reach a budget deal to allow Appropriations to assemble funding for FY 2014 will reopen the specter of another government shutdown. Second, it will reopen the probability [Page: H7271]

of governance by continuing resolution, based on prior year outdated spending needs and priorities, dismissing in one fell swoop all of the work done by the

Congress to enact appropriations bills for FY 2014 that reflect the will of Congress and the people we represent. Third, the current sequester and the upcoming ``Second Sequester'' in January would result in more indiscriminate across the board reductions that could have negative consequences on critically important federal programs, especially our national defense.

In addition, failure to agree on a common spending cap for FY 2015 will guarantee another year of confusion.

The American people deserve a detailed budget blueprint that makes rational and intelligent choices on funding by their elected representatives, not by a meat ax. We urge you to come together and decide on a common discretionary spending topline for both FY 2014 and FY 2015 as quickly as possible to empower our Committee, and the Congress as a whole, to make the responsible spending decisions that we have been elected to make.

Sincerely,

Harold Rogers, Chairman, Committee on Appropriations; Jack Kingston, Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Tom Latham, Chairman, Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies; Kay Granger, Chairwoman, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies; John Abney Culberson, Chairman, Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; John R. Carter, Chairman,

Subcommittee on Homeland Security; Tom Cole, Chairman, Subcommittee on Legislative Branch; Frank R. Wolf, Chairman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice Science, and Related Agencies; Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense; Robert B. Aderholt, Chairman, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development,

Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Michael K. Simpson, Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Ander Crenshaw, Chairman, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government; Ken Calvert, Chairman, Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.