Today, Congress took an important step in ensuring that critical government functions continue to operate without interruption and that we avoid a damaging government shutdown. As the President said, we are pleased that Congress — a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans, in both the House and the Senate — have voted to support a key element of our strategy: our plan to train and equip the moderate opposition in Syria. We are also pleased that Congress supported our efforts to address the Ebola epidemic.
However, this Continuing Resolution is only a temporary solution. Congress must pass a long-term extension of the Export-Import Bank that would help American companies create and support jobs here at home. And there is more work to be done when Congress returns to pass comprehensive full-year appropriations legislation that appropriately funds both national security requirements and critical domestic priorities that promote economic growth, opportunity, and innovation.
We’ve seen the progress that is possible when Congress turns away from austerity and manufactured crises and comes together to secure a budget agreement that alleviates the damaging cuts imposed by sequestration and funds the whole of government.
Budget certainty and the partial relief that Congress provided from sequestration in last year’s budget agreement are contributing to rapid job growth so far this year. And after several years of fiscal crises with large economic costs, we have seen consumer confidence return to post-recession highs.
Further, our deficits have been falling at the fastest rate in 60 years --- and we’ll likely see further declines at the end of this fiscal year. This economic and fiscal progress underscores what is possible if we continue to invest in growth and opportunity, and we look forward to working with Congress to enact funding legislation that provides certainty for families and businesses and helps continue growing the economy, while protecting our national security interests.
Shaun Donovan is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.