September 20, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass legislation to fund the government in the short term and prevent a default on U.S. government debt. The Continuing Resolution also includes two emergency supplemental funding bills: one to help communities hurt by recent natural disasters and the other for resettlement of Afghan evacuees fleeing danger.
“We need to come together to fulfill Congress’ most basic duties: fund the government and pay off our bills,” said Rep. Peters. “This Continuing Resolution also reinforces our commitment to help those devastated by extraordinary circumstances in recent months and weeks. Those who lived through catastrophic hurricanes and wildfires, and those who fled danger in Afghanistan to seek refuge in the U.S. are counting on this additional support more than ever.”
Current government funding runs out in nine days on September 30. By continuing government funding, Congress is avoiding a shutdown and providing an appropriate amount of time for Democrat and Republican lawmakers to address appropriations priorities through the regular order process. The extended funding will keep vital federal agencies running, as well as education, health, housing, and public safety programs through December 3.
This funding bill also includes a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022 to ensure that America pays its bills on time. Addressing the debt limit means meeting obligations the government already made, including to Social Security recipients, to our veterans and to the millions who benefit from the bipartisan COVID-19 relief legislation passed in December 2020.
As of today, Rep. Peters’ office has helped evacuate around 100 individuals from Afghanistan, including U.S. Citizens, translators, and members of the Afghan LGBTQ community. To support these families and other Afghan evacuees, the $6.3 billion supplemental includes funding to temporarily house evacuees at American facilities and in foreign countries, complete necessary security screenings, and ultimately resettle evacuees in more stable locations. The legislation also includes funding to provide humanitarian assistance for Afghan refugees who may not otherwise qualify to resettle in the U.S., and for increased staff at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to process pending evacuation requests.
Emergency disaster funding provides $28.6 billion to address the rising cost of climate change: Hurricane Ida, wildfires, severe droughts and winter storms, and other natural and major disasters declared in 2021 and prior years. This funding will help working families, small businesses, and communities get back on their feet, while repairing damage to federal facilities. This resolution also temporarily waives the annual premium pay caps for wildland firefighters, so firefighters can continue to be paid overtime while responding to our increasingly frequent wildfires.