Washington, D.C. - Senator Johnson made these remarks following his vote Thursday on a temporary government funding bill:
“The United States Senate, under the failed leadership of Democrat Senator Harry Reid, has not passed a regular appropriations bill in nearly three years. As a result, there is not the thoughtful debate or prioritization of spending that will be necessary if we ever hope to have a more efficient and effective federal government. Harry Reid's refusal to insist that the Senate do the work it was designed to do leads to continuing resolutions, omnibus spending bills, and temporary back-room deals to fund the government. It presents senators with yet another take-it-or-leave it vote with no ability to improve the bill.
“Faced with this Hobson's choice — either vote yes on this 10-week continuing resolution, or see another partial shutdown of the federal government — I decided to vote yes. The federal government creates enough uncertainty, and threatening another partial shutdown would only exacerbate the problem. In addition, this bill recognized the urgent need to effectively address the global threat of the African Ebola outbreak by providing necessary funding.
“Unfortunately, the Senate was not given the opportunity to hold a separate debate and vote on authorizing U.S. involvement in training and equipping the properly vetted moderate Syrian opposition. While the bill does not specifically designate additional money from American taxpayers, it authorizes U.S. involvement. I share the legitimate concerns of Americans who question whether we will be training individuals who eventually may become our enemies. But since the training and equipping will occur with or without us, I believe U.S. involvement will minimize the danger of training the wrong people. It is also important to show coalition partners that the U.S. Congress will support strong and resolute action to address the growing threat of ISIS.”