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Engel Statement on Today's Opening Votes in the House

Engel Statement on Today’s Opening Votes in the House

Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement on today’s opening votes in the House:

“I was proud to support Nancy Pelosi for Speaker today, who will help bring honor back to the House by expanding Congressional oversight, increasing transparency, and strengthening ethics rules in our chamber.

"Today I also joined my Democratic colleagues in voting to reopen the government and put an end to the President’s ridiculous and irresponsible shutdown. As we enter our third week, 800,000 federal workers continue to work without pay or remain furloughed, and millions of Americans don’t have access to essential government services. I am hopeful the Senate will once again approve these measures, and I urge the President to sign these without delay.

“In addition, I voted for the Democratic rules package, put forth by Speaker Pelosi, that includes provisions to ensure congressional employees are protected from harassment and discrimination, provisions to prevent Member conflicts of interest, the elimination of a 3/5 majority on raising taxes, and the elimination of CUTGO that requires spending increases be met with matching spending cuts elsewhere. And next week we will be voting on an authorization to intervene in the partisan lawsuit attacking the Affordable Care Act. The package of rules reforms had near unanimous support among the Democratic Caucus, with only 3 Republicans voting in favor.

“As it relates to PAYGO, which has become a topic of conversation over the past few days, Speaker Pelosi has assured the Democratic Caucus that it can be waived to allow for progressive legislation to move forward. PAYGO, as well as sequestration, are part of the federal statutes and remain the law. I openly opposed sequestration and voted against it because I believed it would have a devastating impact on domestic programs. In addition, sequestration mandates that any legislation that isn’t revenue neutral will allow the Director of OMB to determine ways to pay for it. I wouldn’t leave any spending cut decisions to the Trump administration.

“Now that we have chosen our new Speaker, passed this package, and voted to reopen the government, we can move on to tackling the many other key issues our country faces, including climate change, gun violence, health care and much more.”