The Washington Times - February 22, 2011, 12:38PM

A freshman House member has some pointed advice for the upper chamber: Cut your vacation short and get back to work.

“I have only been here 40 days and may be new to the process, but I must wonder why the Senate is taking this week off if they are so concerned about a shutdown on March 4th,” said newly minted Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, New York Republican, in a statement. “Why not start work this Tuesday instead of waiting another week to get the continuing resolution enacted? We are about to hit the ‘fiscal wall,’ yet the Senate is in recess.”


Actually, Ms. Buerkle’s House is off this week as well. But the New York congresswoman says the legislative ball is in the Senate’s court after the House last week passed a massive “continuing resolution” spending bill that would keep the federal government funded after the current deal expires March 4.

Senate Democrats are opposed to many of the House Republican’s proposed $61 billion in cuts. If the two chambers can’t reach an agreement before the deadline, federal agencies could be forced to close.

“Given the economic state of the country, this is no time for business as usual,” Ms. Buerkle said. “I urge the United States Senate to apply the same diligence the House did in executing passage of a fiscally responsible leaner continuing resolution.”