Kirk votes with majority to prevent partial federal government shutdown
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) voted with a Senate majority on Wednesday, along with a House majority, to prevent a partial shutdown of the federal government by supporting a short-term measure that extends current levels of funding for programs vital to Illinois, including veterans' care, efforts to protect the Great Lakes and anti-gang initiatives.
The measure provides funding for another 10 weeks, through Dec. 11.
“We have appropriations bills ready to be voted on in the Senate,” Kirk said. “Short-term funding bills distract from efforts to address the veterans backlog, gang violence, pollution in the Great Lakes and major medical research – all on hold for political opportunists on both sides of the aisle. Appropriations bills should advance, go to conference committees and head to the president’s desk."
The continuing resolution provides $524.6 million over 10 weeks for Veterans Benefits Administration claims processors, an increase to fiscal 2016 levels to maintain progress in reducing the veterans disability-claims backlog. The initiative also ensures that funding for other programs critical to Illinois families and the economy do not lapse.
Kirk also authored a fiscal 2016 appropriations bill that funds veterans’ care at record levels. The MilCon/VA funding bill passed the Senate by a vote of 78-20 and now goes to the House.