Vice Chairwoman Mikulski Statement on Bipartisan Budget Deal
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement after the House passed a new bipartisan budget deal for fiscal years 2016 and 2017:
“I support the bipartisan budget agreement passed by the House today. It avoids default which would have been catastrophic, and it provides sequester relief for two more years by lifting the spartan spending caps that were hollowing out America. The good news is the deal also makes a Medicare Part B fix, so seniors who are new enrollees and many federal employees won’t get gouged by premium increases next year. We need a frugal government, but we can’t have a budget that balances on the backs of seniors or forces a choice between keeping the country safe and keeping the promises made to our veterans.
“For the past six months Democrats called on the House and Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle to negotiate a budget deal and put the necessary funds in the federal checkbook for our national security, veterans, physical infrastructure, and compelling human needs like education, health care and housing. This agreement does that with $80 billion in additional funding for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, split evenly between defense and non-defense. This isn’t a lavish increase, it is still billions less than fiscal year 2010 – six years ago.
“As Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I support this bill because it gives us a new top line to work with for the next two years, so we can pass responsible annual appropriations, instead of last-minute stop-gap funding resolutions that put our government on autopilot. It creates certainty for America’s national security, economy and families, and allows federal agencies and private businesses to make long-term investments in America’s future. With a two-year budget deal locked in we can provide the resources to ensure our military readiness, fix our roads and bridges, improve access to clean water, and support research and scientific innovation – all while creating jobs for today and jobs for tomorrow.
“Though I support this deal, and encourage my colleagues to do the same, it is a compromise and it isn’t perfect. Some of the offsets I wouldn’t have chosen, like decreasing Medicare reimbursements to hospitals for their outpatient clinics.
“This is a good compromise that shows Congress can still work together to make smart, fiscally responsible choices for the American people. Americans deserve a government on their side, and a government that works as hard as they do. I look forward to Senate consideration and passage of this bipartisan budget deal, and will keep fighting for our veterans, seniors and middle class families.”
Contact: Mara Stark-Alcalá (202) 224-2667
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