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 it delays a lot of new initiatives.
A continuing resolution keeps the same spending levels as in the last federal budget and allows government to operate.
But GOP Sen. Susan Collins says it delays one of the most important goals of the budget, which is to address national priorities.
"It doesn’t reflect changing priorities," Collins says. "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, like the Navy frigate program Bath Iron Works is competing to build, are delayed until a new budget is approved. The resolution keeps in place current programs that are targeted for reduction or elimination because they no longer hold the same priority.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat who represents Maine's 1st District, is on the House Appropriations Committee.
“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,'" she says. "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 possibly of another continuing resolution.
Originally published Sept. 30, 2019 at 6:50 a.m. ET.