Vice Chairwoman Mikulski Statement on Senate Passage of 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 Senate passed the bipartisan budget deal for fiscal years 2016 and 2017:

“Today the Senate has done its job, passing a responsible bipartisan budget deal to lift the spartan, post-sequester budget caps, avoid catastrophic default and prevent Medicare Part B premium increases from gouging new senior enrollees and many federal retirees.  I support this two-year budget agreement, because it puts adequate resources in the federal checkbook, creating certainty for America’s national security, economy and families.  I look forward to the President signing the deal, so we appropriators can start writing an omnibus bill to the new topline.


“For the past six months Democrats called for a deal to cancel sequester, so we could write responsible appropriations bills for our  national security, to keep promises to our veterans and seniors, and to invest in our country’s  future.  We need a frugal government, but we also need one that is on the side of the American people.  That means creating jobs today with investments in physical infrastructure like roads, bridges and clean water.  And it means jobs for tomorrow with investments in research and development that lead to life-saving cures and innovative new ideas, which then lead to new products, new industries and new jobs.


“As Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, I am relieved our country will have certainty for the next two years.  I hope this will put an end to the practice of passing last-minute stop-gap funding resolutions that put our government on autopilot. With annual appropriations bills we can make investments that meet the day-to-day needs of the American people and long range needs of the nation.  Instead of continuing to fund programs that don’t work, we can respond to emerging issues, like the hack that compromised the personal information of 22 million federal employees, contractors and their families.


“While this deal isn’t perfect, it gives appropriators enough resources so we aren’t forced to choose between upgrading our cyber defenses and early childhood education.  As we begin writing the omnibus bill over the next month, my Democratic ranking members and I stand at the ready to fight for veterans, seniors and middle class families, so that everyone has access to the opportunity ladder.  We are also prepared to fight against any poison pill riders that could threaten a government shutdown.  The President has said before he would veto funding bills that had riders attached to stop his immigration policy, defund Planned Parenthood, attack access to affordable health care and other such poison pill riders.  


“The American people deserve a government that works as hard as they do.  Passing this bipartisan deal is the first step in showing they have one.   The next step is passing an omnibus bill by December 11, so there are no more government shutdowns – no Christmas crises.  I look forward to continuing the bipartisan effort as I work with Chairman Cochran and our counterparts on the other side of the dome to write an omnibus bill.”



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