Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) REAX On The Bipartisan Budget Deal
The consequences of the Budget Control Act sequestration cuts since 2011 have been devastating and will last a generation. Its impact on military readiness led Defense Secretary Mattis to say that no enemy on the field has done more to harm our military than sequestration. By not investing in our domestic priorities, we allowed our infrastructure to crumble, care to our veterans to be delayed, and investments in education to fall behind. This bipartisan budget deal is the first step toward providing much needed relief from sequestration and stability in the appropriations process.
This bipartisan deal also advances our priorities by guaranteeing that we make real investments in addressing the opioid crisis, funding medical research, and providing assistance to dairy farmers. And it finally fulfills our promise to communities recovering from recent natural disasters, from wildfires out West, to the shores of Puerto Rico, by providing $89 billion to help them rebuild.
This two-year agreement provides a path forward to complete the 2018 appropriations process and, through regular order, have a thoughtful debate on the Fiscal Year 2019 bills. This is not everything I would have wanted in a deal, but that is the nature of compromise. I encourage all senators to help us pass this bipartisan deal and allow the Senate Appropriations Committee to resume its work. I look forward to continue working with Chairman Cochran in the coming weeks.
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