UPDATE: Hultgren Pleased With Budget Deal

The 14th District Congressman checks in from Washington, D.C., where the battle over spending came to a close Friday night with a deal to avoid a government shutdown.

UPDATE: Here is Rep. Hultgren's statement on the budget deal struck Friday night to avoid a government shutdown:

"I am pleased that Congress was able to work together to fully fund government operations through the end of this fiscal year. Not only will this tentative agreement ensure that the men and women in our armed forces receive a pay check, but it will also keep national parks and museums open and maintain other government services.

"The bill also cuts $38.5 billion in federal spending for the remainder of the year, which is the largest spending cut in American history, and cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from the federal budget over the next decade. These cuts are critical, as they represent the first step to taking our nation off the path to national bankruptcy."

Original story:

As of early Friday afternoon, no budget deal had been struck to prevent the impending shutdown of much the federal government. But Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Wheaton, said he is hopeful one can be worked out by the midnight deadline.

Hultgren, calling from Washington, D.C., said Republicans and Democrats were still fighting it out Friday afternoon. Though important steps had been taken, he said, the disagreement is a fundamental one over the size and role of government.

Congress failed to pass a federal budget before the end of last year. If no budget deal is in place by midnight tonight, portions of the government will close down, and roughly 800,000 federal workers will be placed on furlough. National parks will close, and many government services will stop.

It would be the first such shutdown since 1996.

Hultgren said no one in Congress wants that to happen, but Republicans are sticking to their guns over the amount of spending reductions they’d like to see.

“It’s a strong philosophical disagreement,” he said. “One party would like to see the size of government grow, the other would like to see it shrink. It’s hard to compromise when you’re moving in different directions.”

On April 7, Hultgren voted for the bill under debate, H.R. 1363, which cuts $12 billion from the federal budget while funding the Department of Defense for the remainder of the year. Should parts of the government shut down tonight, members of the military would continue to serve without pay.

The measure passed the House 247-181, and is currently under debate in the Senate.

Hultgren said the sticking point is “absolutely not” related to Planned Parenthood cuts, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said. Hultgren said Republicans are looking for “across-the-board reductions."

When asked why these debates always come down to the wire, when services and government funding are threatened, Hultgren said that isn’t true.

“I think we just remember these things,” he said. “Many bills have passed well before the deadline. This one should have passed last year.”

Hultgren said he would reserve judgment on any deal until seeing the particulars, and how they may affect his district, which stretches from DuPage County to the Mississippi River and includes Montgomery, Oswego and Yorkville.

“I’m hopeful there will be a deal,” he said. “There’s nothing yet. We’re still discussing and debating.”

Chrisi Vineyard April 09, 2011 at 05:47 PM
The repub cuts contained in the one-week bill come from a $1.5 billion slashing of the Federal Railroad Administration's High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail program. & by hacking $220 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Fund. And research into making air travel safer and more efficient took cuts as well.
Marilyn J. Shoger April 09, 2011 at 07:29 PM
Please remember that we are going through this mess because the Democrats did not pass a budget for this year. They had majorities in BOTH Houses, but failed to write or pass a budget for this year. Passing a budget is their Constitutional duty for the coming year, but for some reason, they did not do their job. Thank you Rep. Hultgren for your work in Washington D.C. I appreciate your respresentation and work for our District. Keep up the good work!
Matt Walker April 09, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Really? As an associate member of the United Mine Workers of America, I have followed this issue closely. UMWA President Cecil Roberts stated that "[w]e regard the Clean Air Act as unsuited to providing the technology incentives needed to advance carbon capture and storage and other advanced clean energy technologies that our nation will need to combat climate change." The United Mine Workers have been on the record blocking the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases for some time, now. Not only is the legislation impotent when it comes to impacting "climate change", it would put a lot of Americans out of work. Where is your proof that stripping the EPA of the duty to regulate greenhouse gases "will have disastrous effects on public health and our enviroment"? I notice that most of those parroting your same talking points are careful to use the words "may", "might" or "could" when they talk about effects on the environment. Do you know something the experts don't know?
Matt Walker April 09, 2011 at 09:40 PM
Net neutrality has been a hot debate for years. The arguments have progressed to the point where even the term "net neutrality" is defined differently by its proponents. So please tell us, was the FCC proposing absolute non-discrimination or limited discrimination and what was the FCC's position on QoS tiering? What arguments were made against the FCC's position, and have there been any court decisions providing clarification on the authority of the FCC as relates to their authority to impose net neutrality? What is your basis for stating that the Republican's actions would give phone and cable companies "absolute, unrestricted power over the Internet"? I have not seen anybody else use those terms, not even the FCC.
Matt Walker April 09, 2011 at 09:50 PM
Exactly what research was being done to make air travel safer and more efficient? What programs were cut from the HUD Community Development Fund? Were some programs completely cut out or was funding reduced equally among the different programs?
Matt Walker April 09, 2011 at 10:03 PM
I am absolutely disgusted by the Republicans pushing cuts to programs like Head Start, and WIC. If you want to talk about deficit reduction on the backs of the working poor, you can't get any more direct than attacking Head Start and WIC. I could care less about net neurtrality, high speed rail and the EPA. Those are battles between special interest groups with lots of money to throw at those issues. You don't hear much about cuts to programs like WIC and Head Start. These are programs that actually help children of the working poor and make their lives just a bit easier. Oh sure, you'll hear Democrats mention these cuts on occasion, but you're much more likely to hear about cuts to their big campaign contributors like Planned Parenthood and the Ethanol Syndicate. I was pleasantly surprised to see Senator Durbin come out so strongly in defense of Head Start. I have been critical of Dick Durbin in the past, but I may just have to rethink that in the upcoming election. I know one thing. When I hear that Republicans want to cut WIC and Head Start, while at the same time voting overwhelmingly against reducing subsidies for the oil industry, that tells me everything I need to know about them as a party.
Judy Siedlecki April 09, 2011 at 11:01 PM
It is my understanding that the Repubs filibustered the Dems budget proposals last year. Let's not rewrite history.
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 02:07 AM
Oh come now, Judy. If the Democrats and the Republicans were precluded from re-writing history, they'd have nothing to campaign on!
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 02:22 AM
The democrats were unable to pass the budget last year because of senate filibustering. The common courtesy of having a district federal judge confirmed if both senators from the state which the judge is being confirmed, was filibustered. this was unprecedented. It would take over a full year to confirm all federal district judges at 30 hours of debate each. "On Memorial Day 2002, during George W. Bush’s administration, 13 nominations were pending on the executive calendar. Eight years later, under Obama, the number was 108.[6] " http://www.brookings.edu/testimony/2010/0623_filibuster_mann.aspx We can move forward when we don't drag the republican anchor of stupidity.
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 02:48 AM
After 40 years of the democratic New Deal of 1933, we have seen workers rights attacked, minimum wages retarded (http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/anth484/minwage.html), banks deregulated (Movie- Inside Job), Unions attacked (Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and soon Michigan), and social programs attacked. section 1 article 8-The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States: This is where we find the authorization of social programs. We should be directing our attention to corporate welfare which is NOT authorized in our constitution. Let's end loopholes and corporate welfare, and promote the improvement of all Americans' lives.
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 02:59 AM
There have been members of congress who lack logic and reason recently elected. There is no reason why this congress , after four months in office, cannot establish a working, rational, responsible budget. No excuses. The last congress was filibustered. Now it is the responsibility of this congress. We can remove funding for two wars, end corporate welfare, tax bank revenues, deny tax credits for outsourced jobs, give tax credits for companies who do employ Americans, and build in America. Whether you are a democrat or republican, we are in this together. Unless we work together ( to grow the middle class) we will get nowhere.
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 03:26 AM
@ Matt Walker. [w]e regard the Clean Air Act as unsuited to providing the technology incentives needed to advance carbon capture and storage and other advanced clean energy technologies that our nation will need to combat climate change." The key word here is INCENTIVES. Corporate welfare. The mining companies do not want to invest their profits to update their equipment, they need "INCENTIVES" (corporate welfare), before they are willing to improve their facilities. The coal mining industry has a proven track record of disregard for human life. Why would they care about the effects of climate change? They want a pass on pollution, and a guarantee on profit. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/09/135251710/questions-remain-year-after-w-va-mine-explosion
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 03:32 AM
A simple search on google answers your questrions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality Net neutrality ensures an open internet, free of corporate (isp) control of content and speed.
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 03:54 AM
Are you seriously trying to argue that the United Mine Workers Union is arguing in favor of corporate welfare and have a disregard for human life? What planet are you living on?
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 03:55 AM
Actually, it doesn't answer my questions. But thanks anyway.
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 04:27 AM
So let me get this straight. In a previous post, you argued that what you mistakenly referred to as the "Common Welfare" clause should be broadly interpreted, and now you want to narrow that interpretation to fit your ideological purity test? Are you trying to say that the Congress did not have the authority to bail out AIG, the banks and the auto industry? Have you even read the court decisions referencing the general welfare clause or do you just make this stuff up as you go along?
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 04:47 AM
"The EPA has been moving aggressively to develop regulatory programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and appears in a rush to develop a slate of new rules that would hamper our economic recovery while depressing prospects for alleviating the crushing burdens of high unemployment." - Cecil Roberts, President UMWA
Matt Walker April 10, 2011 at 04:54 AM
Tell me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Republicans repeating the mantra "Where are the jobs" for the past two years? Maybe I'm missing something. What have the Republicans done since the election that has anything to do with job creation?
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 01:02 PM
@ Matt Walker There was no mistake in the reference of the GENERAL WELFARE clause. There is no narrowing of interpretation. No where in the constitution does it afford protections or rights to corporations. The point of the GENERAL WELFARE clause is for congress to tax in a fair manner, and to provide social programs. I said nothing about congress not being able to pass legislation to bail out corporations. What I am saying, is the republicans desire to gut social programs and not look at corporate welfare cuts, is misguided, and in poor judgment. Hamilton's view of the general welfare clause has become the rule of law through court cases, not Jefferson's. The general welfare was to be for the people, for the betterment of the population. No where in the constitution is the word- "corporation".
Robert Carlson April 10, 2011 at 01:17 PM
Some of you more informed than I can educate me on the filibuster of the budget last year. I've never heard Reid make this statement - did I miss it? The House actually never proposed one. Was that because a fillibuster had been threatened in the Senate? As for Planned Parenthood, Head Start and the EPA, I would suppose spending there should be decided based on elections. I would defund PP and HS and believe the EPA has exceeded its charter. Robert Carlson
David Edelman April 10, 2011 at 01:27 PM
I am still trying to figure out which Randy is talking here. The "the fiscal conservative Randy" or the "the number one priority is a large federal spending bill for his district Randy(Oswego train station)". I guess when the debt ceiling vote comes we will find out?
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 02:48 PM
The budget never came up to the senate, where Harry Reid is in, because they were still trying to get federal district judges confirmed from a year prior when the filibustering escalated. It is good to see you are not in office. I noticed there was no comment about corporations receiving welfare, no outcry over the lost revenue of the Bush Tax Cuts, no outcry over the cost of the unfunded wars, no outcry over the expanded government with Homeland Security, no outcry over the government denying itself the right to negotiate medicine prices in medicare Part D. why would you attack Title X programs with a proven social benefit, and not irresponsible government legislation? How about defunding the 2 wars, where our family members and friends are forced to play roadside Roulette everyday? Let's stop paying for what doesn't work, and fund those programs which do.
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 03:08 PM
The Republican party has brought forth no meaningful legislation in two years. This is why they are referred to as the party of NO IDEAS. They voted against the stimulus, but accepted the money. They voted against the Affordable Healthcare Act, but accept the money to implement it. The greatest legislation they have brought forth, is the renaming ( In honor of...) of post offices. Can anyone name a funded working program which did not expand the payroll of our federal government, under the Bush Administration? Can anyone name a war which America fought, where taxes were not levied to fund the war? Can anyone point to current legislation which creates jobs, written by a republican? ANYONE?
Michael O'Connell April 10, 2011 at 03:12 PM
I stand corrected. Robert Carlson did state he would defund HS- Homeland security. It could have been High School or Humane Society, but I think he was in reference to Homeland Security.
Matt Walker April 11, 2011 at 02:17 AM
I definitely agree that cutting social programs while at the same time turning a blind eye to the vast amounts of corporate welfare is disgusting and hypocritical. But everybody knows that what is going on in Washington has nothing to do with what is good for the country, but is stricly a partisan fight. I think almost everybody recognizes that. The reference to general welfare in Article 1, Section 8 has been at issue since the days of Madison and Hamilton. It is undisputed that it is a qualification on the taxing and spending power of Congress. You make mention of Hamilton in your post. It is precisely because Hamilton's view has been predominantly referenced in court decisions that Congress is able to hand out corporate welfare dollars. Hamilton's was a very liberal and broad view of the terms "general welfare", especially in reference to Article 1, Section 8. You sound as though you much prefer Madison's approach, which would essentially limit the taxing powers to the enumerated powers contained within Article 1, Section 8. Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but you seem to want to have your cake and eat it, too. You want the clause to be interpreted broadly to allow for social programs, but then limit money to corporations based upon a more strictly constructionist view in that the word "corporation" does not appear anywhere in Article 1, Section 8. I don't know if you had a chance to read the Citizens United decision, but the court spoke to...
Matt Walker April 11, 2011 at 02:18 AM
...the issue of corporations. What are your thoughts on the Court's decision in Citizens United, and specifically the historical record relating to corporations that was contained within that decision?
Matt Walker April 11, 2011 at 02:28 AM
I think that Robert was referencing Head Start (HS), not Homeland Security. @Robert: I agree that Planned Parenthood should be defunded, and I agree with the United Mine Workers of America that the EPA is all over the board when it comes to making up regulations related to greenhouse gas emissions. The UMWA has been very vocal that the EPA's regulations are going to cost jobs, and it the Union's job to protect its workers from those who would put their members at risk whether that risk originates with Massey Mines, the EPA or Republicans in Wisconsin. I don't agree with defunding Head Start, because after reading the report I believe that Head Start has been shown to be effective. "Jay" disagreed with me on that issue, and our debate took place in the comment section of the "Durbin Head Start" article. Michael disagreed with me on Planned Parenthood and our debate also took place on the "Durbin page". I know that Michael talked about Homeland Security, but I don't think you mentioned it. I would absolutely love for somebody to defund that ridiculous agency. Michael also talked about two wars. I agree that we should be out of both Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, has increased the use of private military contractors, and is killing innocent families with his drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Waziristan. I would also defund the illegal war that is currently being waged by President Obama in Libya
Matt Walker April 11, 2011 at 02:33 AM
I was very impressed when Congressman Hultgren voted against the extension of the Patriot Act. I was also glad to see him working to bring a METRA station to Oswego.
Matt Walker April 11, 2011 at 02:43 AM
The Republicans didn't actually filibuster the proposed 2011 budget. They merely had to threaten to filibuster to scare the Democrats. The Democrats scared easily despite having majorities in both the Congress and the Senate, and having President Obama in the White House. President Obama himself derided the Congress, and commented that after the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the Republicans held a 41-59 majority in the Senate. Look at what the Republicans have been able to do thus far with a majority in only the House of Representatives! Personally, I think that President Obama has shown a lot of toughness. I think that in contrast the Democratic leadership in the Congress is looking very weak, and has been for some time. I would be very surprised if the Republicans beat President Obama in 2012, but I would not be surprised at all to see Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate after the 2012 elections. The question is whether they will have enough Republicans in both houses to override President Obama's veto. If they do, then it will be off to the races for the GOP. If not, it will still be a stalemate.
David Edelman April 11, 2011 at 03:13 AM
I hope the train station comes here. I hope congressman Hultgren can get continued funding for Fermi Lab(a ferderal program as well). But you cannot have it both ways. Ripping on big government out of control spending programs on one hand, but big government seems to be OK when they are in your district. Like I said, which Randy is talking here. Not quite sure but let's see as we go along.....


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