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NNSA bill passes House, dies in Senate

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The House of Representatives voted 248-176 to provide funds for nuclear arms research and security including the National Nuclear Security Administration despite the shutdown. It was the latest GOP bill aimed at reviving popular programs during the shutdown — and the latest to die in the Senate, where Senate majority leader Harry Reid has rejected bills that fall short of fully reopening the government.

The New Mexico delegation voted along party lines with Republican Steve Pearce voting for it and Democrats Ben Ray Lujan and Michelle Lujan Grisham voting against it.

“Today’s vote to fund the NNSA is key to the security of our nation, and assures that the hard-working employees of Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs will continue to have jobs,” Pearce said.   “Our contractors and employees at Sandia  and Los Alamos provide a vital service to our nation, which must continue without interruption – this legislation ensures that.”

“I thank Chairman Frelinghuysen and Leader Cantor for working with me to bring this legislation to the House floor,” Pearce continued. “With Los Alamos and Sandia announcing furloughs in the near future, I urge the Senate to quickly act on this legislation, not only for the thousands of New Mexico jobs it saves, but also for the security this bill provides.”
Luman, meanwhile, spoke on the House floor on the importance of swiftly passing a clean funding bill that will end the government shutdown, fund the national laboratories, and ensure that lab employees are not furloughed.

Lujan said  House Republicans are bringing up piecemeal bills that fund portions of the federal government, but fail to provide full funding to end the shutdown.

 

"Mr. Speaker, funding for the NNSA is critically important to my state of New Mexico, where we are home to both Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs.  However, this bill denies these national security labs the funding they need as it locks in the deep cuts of sequester for two more months,” Lujan said..

"There is not a member of this body, Democrat or Republican, that says they like the sequester, Mr. Speaker, but my Republican colleagues refuse to lift it.  And they say they want to keep the government open, but they place conditions on it.

"This piecemeal approach in this bill to the Department of Energy and the NNSA is picking winners and losers with employees that are going to be furloughed.  This is a shame and it's a sham.  This Republican charade that is going to go home to my state of New Mexico and direct the directors of the lab to tell employees who is going to go home without a paycheck and who will not, because there is still not assurance that the Secretary of Energy, through the Department of Energy, will make these employees whole through an allowable cost that will be accepted.  Enough is enough."