Bipartisan Budget Agreement Will Rebuild Our Military
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) released the following statement on House passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act:
“The government budget process is broken, and the result has been a long-term habit of irresponsible short-term funding. The House passed every single appropriations bill by last September when the fiscal year ended, and it is incredibly disheartening that a minority in the Senate blocked those funding bills from even coming up for debate, much less a vote, on the Senate floor. After months of continued Democrat obstruction, Congress will finally provide our military and the American people the certainty they look for from their government. While this is very, very far from the process the American people deserve, this bill takes an important step to ensure our government, and especially our national defense, averts more short-term funding bills.
“First and foremost, after years of decline, our military will now have full funding at the levels our men and women in uniform need to defend our country, update necessary equipment, and ensure that we are stronger than every other country in the world. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said, short-term funding resolutions ‘impact the readiness of our force and their equipment at a time when security threats are extraordinarily high.’ Our nation can no longer afford to give our military less than 100% of the support it needs.
“This legislation also includes disaster relief for California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. After devastating natural disasters struck across America, the House passed a large disaster relief package in December. Unfortunately, that too languished in the Senate. But as the people in my home state of California who lost their homes and their livelihoods know, this aid can’t wait any longer. They will finally get the relief we’ve been trying to send for months. This relief will do more than simply get our fellow citizens back on their feet. It will lay the foundation for communities to become far more resilient against future disasters.
“Also here at home, this legislation provides funding to address domestic challenges from the opioid crisis and rare diseases to reform at the Veterans Administration and fixing our crumbling infrastructure. The National Institutes of Health, which continues to do in-depth scientific research to cure diseases, will receive increased funding along with programs to respond to the opioid crisis and improve our mental health system. We also repeal the Obamacare Medicare rationing board known as IPAB before it could ever start, stripping away another pillar of Obamacare just as we did when we repealed the individual mandate.
“To fix the backlogs in the VA that continue to deprive our veterans of the services they deserve, this legislation also increases funding for veterans’ programs for the next two years. While we are providing our men and women in uniform the tools they need today, we must never forget our commitment to them when they return home.
“In response to our outdated infrastructure, we have also increased funding to support President Trump’s plan to rebuild America. That means providing clean and safe drinking water and improving our energy, broadband, and surface transportation networks. Finally, in line with the recent Republican push to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) for six years, this package further extends CHIP through 2028 and extends funding for community health centers, teaching health centers, and the Special Diabetes Program, as well as bipartisan Medicare provisions that largely serve low-income Americans.
“While there is much that is needed and that Republicans have long sought in this legislation, it is my firm desire that we never again face this cycle of short-term funding resolutions followed by a single, all-encompassing bill. We can’t change the mistakes of the past, but we should learn from them. The House has shown it is willing and able to responsibly develop, debate, and pass every single appropriations bill. I am heartened that this legislation includes a special commission to accomplish this change. But the process simply doesn’t work if a Senate minority stops both the House and Senate from doing their job. We are ready to finish our funding work and make our country domestically and militarily stronger than ever before.”