WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the following statement after voting in favor of the omnibus funding bill:

“This is not the funding bill I would have written.  Far from it.  But it represents the compromises it takes to avert another government shutdown and keep the government working for the American people. 

“I’m very pleased that our 9/11 first responders will finally have the peace of mind they deserve now that we permanently extended our Zadroga Health and Compensation Act.  There is also critical funding in this budget agreement to help ensure our first responders are properly equipped, staffed and ready to answer the call when emergencies strike.

“The final package importantly includes many of my priorities to support middle class and working families, grow our economy, create jobs and invest in our infrastructure, communities and businesses. It will put real money back in the pockets of transit riders in the face of rising fares, give a lifeline to struggling homeowners strapped with debt, and ensure women have access to quality health services.  It also provides tax certainty for middle class families and makes permanent improvements to the earned income and child tax credits that together help lift working families out of poverty. 

“While I have championed many of the provisions included in this budget – and offered common sense ways to ensure they are paid for -- I do not believe they had to come at the price of permanently repealing the oil export ban.  And just as we are pushing the SEC to move forward with my rule requiring public companies to disclose their political spending to shareholders, Republicans have allowed dark-money to further threaten our democracy.  We must fix this.  

“At the end of the day, I consider a budget to be a reflection of our values, and I’m going to continue to fight to build upon the great successes in this agreement, and against any efforts that are harmful to New Jersey, our nation and our future.”