All four members of Maine’s congressional delegation voted in support of a continuing resolution last week that funds the federal government through Nov. 21. But the measure also delays new initiatives.
A continuing resolution keeps the same spending levels as in the last federal budget and allows government to operate.
But Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, said it delays one of the most important goals of the budget, which is to address national priorities.
“It doesn’t reflect changing priorities,” Collins said. “And there are some programs that, perhaps, should be abolished, and there are others that need increases. There are others that should be funded at the current level or decreased.”
New programs, such as the Navy frigate program Bath Iron Works is competing to build, are delayed until a new budget is approved. The resolution keeps in place programs targeted for reduction or elimination because they no longer hold the same priority.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 1st District and sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said: “It means that you are stuck with previous funding levels, previous language, and you can’t do the normal back and forth of, ‘This department needs more money. We don’t need so much here.’ You are stuck with the previous pattern.”
Differences between the House and Senate versions of the 12 spending bills will have to be reconciled before the November deadline or Congress faces the possibility of another continuing resolution.
This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.