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Congressman Perry Opposes Federal Spending Plan

Citing Concerns over Parliamentary Maneuver to Expand Warrantless Government Spying Program

Washington, December 22, 2017
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Scott Perry opposed the stop gap funding measure, the Continuing Resolution (CR), which would keep the government funded through January 19, 2018, citing deep concerns about the last minute inclusion of certain controversial provisions. The final bill was a conglomeration of bills which incorporated a carte blanche extension of surveillance powers for the National Security Agency (NSA).

“This is an appalling violation of every American’s Fourth Amendment rights. We must keep the homeland safe, but we can’t do it at the expense of our constitutionally guaranteed privacy from the government. You have the right to be secure and the NSA continues to flout that right, with little to no oversight, leaving every American without protection from faceless government bureaucrats,” said Perry. “Our citizens ought to be outraged that this is happening, especially under the guise of national security. Even worse, this surveillance hasn’t been responsible for stopping a single act of terrorism but has caused Americans to sacrifice our liberty in untold ways. This provision should never have been included in this spending package and I’m disappointed with the Leadership in both Chambers for refusing to correct it.”

Perry went on to discuss the need for the Senate to establish a long-term spending plan for the federal government.

“As I’ve said before, the House has gone through the process of appropriating funds to meet the needs of our military and every other government program through the normal appropriations process. The Senate's actively chosen not to engage in this process and insists on moving the Country from short-term crisis to short-term crisis. It’s unacceptable. I’ve repeatedly called for the Senate to get to work on either the House proposal or one of their own; I've even gone as far as requesting that both Chambers spend the August District Work Period in Washington to get the job done. The Senate will not budge and it’s unfair to the American People,” said Perry.

In September 2017, the House passed the Make America Secure and Prosperous Act, which Perry supported. The bill contained funding for all 12 appropriations bills and was considered through the regular legislative procedure in the House. The Senate failed to take up the proposal for nearly 100 days. Passing a proposal of this nature averts the need to authorize a short-term CR.

The latest CR also included a 5-year reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program Perry has adamantly supported for years. It also funded community health centers for two years, which Perry also supports.

“With my support, the House passed a long-term CHIP reauthorization on November 3, 2017, as a standalone proposal - the way it should be done. Once again, the Senate used kids as a bargaining CHIP instead of getting to work on the proposal we sent them almost two months ago. No family should be put in the uncertain position the Senate is leaving them in,” said Perry.

Early this year, the President also signed a law to ensure the Department of Health and Human Services may shift administrative funds into the CHIP program as a temporary stopgap for states that are running out of money. Pennsylvania isn’t expected to run out of funds before February 2018, but Perry said “We can’t wait any longer. Had this been a standalone proposal, I would have supported it without question.”

The CR ultimately cleared the House without Perry’s support. It passed the Senate late on Thursday. CR must be signed into law to avert a shutdown on December 22, 2017.
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