Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Leahy (D-Vt.) Releases Conference Agreement Summary For “Minibus I”
WASHINGTON (MONDAY, Sept. 10, 2018) – Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Monday released a summary compiled by the Senate Appropriations Committee Minority staff of the conference agreement for the Energy & Water Development, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies, and Legislative Branch “minibus” appropriations bill.
The package includes $146.57 billion in discretionary spending and must now be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.
Leahy said: “This agreement demonstrates that Congress can work together when we put partisan politics aside and focus on the priorities of the American people.
“This agreement on the first package of three appropriations bills lays a bipartisan foundation for us to complete all 12 bills. It has bipartisan support, is free of poison pill riders and complies with the bipartisan budget agreement.
“This package is not perfect, but that is the nature of compromise. I remain very concerned that because it was not accommodated under the bipartisan budget agreement this package does not provide funding to cover the costs associated with the VA Choice program, which was transferred to the discretionary side of the budget under the MISSION Act. This new program will face a shortfall beginning in May of 2019. We do our veterans no favors when we make promises to them that we cannot keep.
“To solve this problem, we cannot just take funding from other programs for veterans, or terminate programs meant to help low-income American’s heat their homes, or for important research at the National Institutes of Health, as proposed by the President. We must adjust the budget caps to accommodate programs for our veterans that have already passed Congress and been signed into law.
“Our veterans made a commitment to our country, and I fully intend to continue to pursue this issue so that Congress can keep its commitment to them in return.
“But this package remains a positive step forward in returning the appropriations process to regular order. I am optimistic that for the first time in nearly a decade we can do the work of the American people in the way it is supposed to be done.”
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CONTACT: Jay Tilton – 202-224-2667
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