Cochran: Appropriations Committee Ready to Finish FY2016 Cycle

Chairman Supports Budget Agreement as Best Option to Avoid Default, Shutdown

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, today expressed his intent to complete the FY2016 appropriations process with Senate approval of a negotiated two-year budget agreement.

Cochran indicated his support for the legislation (HR.1314), which reforms and trims government programs in order to alter defense and nondefense sequestration budget cuts for FY2016 and FY2017. The Congress has a Dec. 11, 2015, deadline to complete the FY 2016 appropriations process in accordance with the budget agreement in order to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate is expected to vote on the budget measure either late Thursday night or early Friday morning.

Cochran issued this statement regarding HR.1314:

“Approval of this budget agreement is our signal to finish the 2016 budget and appropriations cycle. The Appropriations Committee will continue its work to develop legislation that responsibly meets the nation’s national security and domestic requirements by the Dec. 11 deadline.

“There are many aspects of this imperfect agreement that can be criticized. It will, however, allow us to fulfill our basic responsibility to provide for the defense of our nation. For fiscal years 2016 and 2017, this legislation should ensure a measure of certainty that will help make our federal government more efficient. It does not raise taxes and it begins to address much-needed reforms to the entitlement programs that are at the root of our budget deficits.

“The Senate Appropriations Committee has worked on a largely bipartisan basis to write and approve 12 individual appropriations bills this year, an accomplishment not seen since 2009. I look forward to using that body of work as the basis for negotiations with our House counterparts. Our final work product should responsibly provide the highest level of support to meet our national security needs, invest in national priorities like medical and scientific research, and adopt much-needed oversight measures to rein in government overreach.

“Individual appropriations bills are the best way for the Congress to make thoughtful, responsible and difficult decisions about funding our national priorities. It is my hope that this two-year agreement will enable the Congress to once again debate, amend and approve these measures.”