WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) issued the following statement regarding the budget agreement reached by bipartisan negotiators in the Senate and House of Representatives that prevents a shutdown of the federal government:
"The American people sent us to Washington to lead our government back onto a path of fiscal sustainability, not grind it to a halt. I'm pleased both sides of the aisle were able to reach an agreement and avoid a government shutdown. I hope the same spirit is applied through next week as we debate the continued funding of our government.
"We mustn't lose sight of the fact that we were faced with the prospect of a shutdown principally because no budget was passed out of Congress or ever considered on the Senate floor throughout all of last year, and we are now picking up the pieces. We are here to work together to solve our country's problems, and negotiators must do better than the performance this week. In the near future we are going to have to make tough decisions to address major problems, which will entail confronting bloated deficits and entitlement reform. I will continue to urge my colleagues to come together to develop a clear, comprehensive approach to bringing our country back from the brink of a financial crisis."