Donnelly, Walorski, Young weigh-in on federal budget deal
Saturday, 10 February 2018 18:27

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress passed a $400 billion budget deal Friday (Feb. 9), ending a brief U.S. government shutdown.

President Trump signed the measure which is expected to push budget deficits past $1 trillion with $300 billion in new spending over the next two years for military and nondefense programs, plus $90 billion in disaster aid.

The bill lifted spending caps and suspended the debt limit for a year.

The House passed the measure on a bipartisan 240-186 vote; 73 Democrats voted for the bill, while 67 Republicans voted against it. The Senate vote was 71-28.

 

Here's how Indiana's two senators, Joe Donnelly and Todd Young, and second district representative Jackie Walorski weighed in on their votes:

 

Donnelly helps pass bipartisan budget deal

Would provide needed investments in military readiness, infrastructure, funding to fight the opioid abuse epidemic, extensions of funding for Community Health Centers and the Children’s Health Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly Friday helped the Senate pass a bipartisan deal that would allow for necessary investments in a number of priority areas, including military readiness, fighting opioid abuse, and reauthorizing Community Health Centers.

Donnelly said, “For too long, Congress has chosen to kick the can down the road with short-term funding bills without providing any long-term budget certainty. I supported this bipartisan, two-year budget deal because it would allow military and national security leaders to plan for the future, while also making significant investments in infrastructure, community health centers, and in the fight against the opioid epidemic.”

Background on the bipartisan deal from Donnelly:

  • Would set spending levels for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019.
  • Would keep the federal government open through March 23 while specific details are worked out on a longer-term funding package.
  • Would allow for significant investments in military readiness that the Department of Defense has been asking for, and which have been hampered by repeated short term funding measures.
  • Would allow for $6 billion over two years toward programs combatting the opioid abuse epidemic. Donnelly has repeatedly pushed for a more robust federal response to this public health emergency.
  • Would reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund for two years and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years, an increase following last month’s agreement for a six-year extension. Donnelly has repeatedly called for reauthorization of Community Health Center Fund, which expiredSept. 30. Donnelly has long supported the CHIP program and last month welcomed its reauthorization.
  • Would invest in infrastructure, including surface transportation, rural water and waste water, rural broadband, and energy infrastructure.
  • Would create a Joint Select Committee tasked with solving the multiemployer pension crisis, which Donnelly has been outspoken about solving.

 

 

Walorski issues statement on budget agreement that fully funds military

Congress Passes Long-Term Budget to Rebuild Military, Combat Opioid Epidemic, Help Hoosier Families Thrive

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) Friday released the following statement after voting to send President Trump a long-term budget agreement that fully funds the military, provides resources to combat the opioid epidemic, and advances evidence-based solutions to help Hoosier families thrive:

“Years of irresponsible and arbitrary defense cuts have jeopardized our national security, diminished our military readiness, and endangered our troops in the field. It’s time for that to end.

“Today we are delivering on our promise to rebuild the military and get our brave servicemen and women the tools, training, and support they need to keep our nation safe.

“We are also making critical investments to combat the opioid epidemic, as well as advancing commonsense solutions to help Hoosier families achieve the American Dream. This bill is far from perfect, but it is a necessary step as we continue working with President Trump to build a stronger and safer country.”

Background from Walorski:

The House passed the Bipartisan Budget Act (H.R. 1892) by a vote of 240 to 186. The legislation, which establishes long-term funding levels and includes an extension of current funding through March 23.

Military Funding

The Bipartisan Budget Act ensures the military is fully funded at levels consistent with the fiscal year (FY) 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) so service members have the tools, equipment, and training necessary to keep the nation safe. It includes a 2.4 percent raise for troops – their biggest pay increase in eight years – as well as an increase in active duty, national guard, and reserve forces and additional resources to close the readiness gap.

Defense funding will increase by $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year, unwinding the sequestration cuts that jeopardized national security. The House previously passed defense funding at FY18 NDAA levels, but the legislation was repeatedly blocked in the Senate.

President Trump expressed strong support for the budget agreement, and Defense Secretary James Mattis stated it “will ensure our military can defend our way life, preserve the promise of prosperity, and pass on the freedoms you and I enjoy to the next generation.”

VA Maintenance

Includes an additional $4 billion to reduce the maintenance backlog at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.

Opioid Epidemic

Provides $6 billion over two years to combat the opioid epidemic through grants, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts.

Community Health Centers

Extends funding for community health centers – which take an innovative, patient-focused approach to ensure vulnerable and underserved populations have access to quality, affordable health care – for two years. In November, the House passed the CHAMPIONING HEALTHY KIDS Act (H.R. 3922) to fund CHIP, community health centers, and other important public health priorities.

Home Visiting Program

Extends the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program for five years, with additional flexibility for states and new requirements to ensure it remains an effective, evidence-based program. In September 2017, the House passed the Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act (H.R. 2824).

CHIP

Extends the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for 10 years – an additional four years beyond the reauthorization Congress recently passed into law.

Interstate Foster Care

Includes bipartisan legislation Walorski introduced to speed up interstate foster care placement. In June 2017, the House passed the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act (H.R. 2742), which would help states move to an electronic system for foster care placement and adoptions across state lines in order to reduce the delays and costs of paperwork.

Social Impact Partnerships

Includes the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (H.R. 576), legislation sponsored by Walorski to support innovative, evidence-based solutions through social impact partnership programs that deliver results.

Seniors’ Health Care

Protects seniors’ access to health care by repealing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under Obamacare. In November 2017, the House passed the Protecting Seniors’ Access to Care Act (H.R. 849) to prevent the board of unelected bureaucrats from cutting Medicare. 

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

 

 

Young: Budget agreement includes Indiana priorities and critical military funding

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) issued the following statement regarding the two-year budget agreement that was signed into law by President Trump Friday morning:

“This budget agreement includes several Indiana priorities, including my two bills to fundamentally reform our social safety net and to improve foster care placement, as well as critical funding for our military.

“Our nation confronts a serious and growing array of national security threats and challenges, and this budget agreement will help Congress finally provide the Department of Defense the resources and predictability it needs to improve readiness and modernize our forces. We have a responsibility to ensure our service members have the resources they need to accomplish their missions, protect our country, and return home safely.

“Moving forward, Congress must work together to address the true drivers of our national debt by strengthening our entitlement programs. This will remain one of my top priorities as we continue to tackle our nation’s most pressing issues.”