Nominations, Appropriations Up Next in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Senate’s agenda for the month of September:

“I’d like to welcome all my colleagues back to the Senate. I hope all of us took advantage of the past weeks that we spent in our home states, with our constituents. Washington D.C. is where we come to work, but we come here to fight for our neighbors, for the places we love and are proud to hail from.

“The American people know this is a highly-charged political moment. But they haven’t sent us here to stage pitched battles or score political points. They elected us to make a difference for them and their families. We do that by taking care of the people’s business. By collaborating in good faith to complete our work and attend to the pressing matters before us.

“While we were spread out across the country we heard an unwelcome announcement from our dear friend and colleague the senior senator from Georgia. Senator Johnny Isakson has determined that his health challenges will lead him to conclude his distinguished fifteen-year Senate career at the end of December. Putting Georgians first, like always.

“His departure will be a significant loss for the people of Georgia and for the other 99 of us here in this chamber. Senator Isakson is a tireless legislator. In particular he’s a dogged advocate for our nation’s veterans. But he’s even more than that. Johnny is universally seen as one of the warmest, friendliest, most respectful, and most collaborative members of this body. He has strong views and solid principles — but he knows that broad, often bipartisan cooperation is the way to advance those very goals.

“So I hope that as the Senate tackles the important matters before us in the weeks and months ahead, we will not only make sure to savor our last few months working alongside this great friend and colleague, but also to embody his example in our work. And here is what that work will need to include: Right off the bat this week, the Senate will begin working through a slate of nominations to important federal offices.

“The American people deserve to be governed by the government they voted for — and every time we confirm another one of the uncontroversial, amply-qualified public servants whom President Trump has selected for these executive branch posts, we fulfill a constitutional responsibility and make manifest the people’s decision.

“Of course, in the days and weeks ahead, another major duty before us is the appropriations process. Just like last year, under the leadership of Chairman Shelby and Ranking Member Leahy, I’m confident that we can make significant progress on regular appropriations this month and then pass an interim continuing resolution to prevent any funding lapse while work continues.

“Let me say that again: A major focus of the Senate this month will be moving forward as many of the regular appropriations bills as possible and then passing a temporary continuing resolution for the outstanding parts of government before the end of September. We have the parameters in place, thanks to the bipartisan funding agreement that President Trump signed last month. Now it is time for the rubber to meet the road, and for the Senate to pass appropriations bills this month.”