Wittman Opposes Last Minute Budget Deal

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Provided by Congressman Rob Wittman’s Office

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Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-1) voted today against final approval of The Bipartisan Budget Agreement Act, H.R. 1314. This deal, negotiated behind closed doors, would lift the debt ceiling until March 2017 and adjust spending caps for two years by $80 billion with an increase of $50 billion in the first year and $30 billion in the second year, equally divided between defense and non-defense discretionary spending. The legislation passed by a vote of 266-167.

“The negotiations that led to this budget deal reflect a longstanding pattern of procedural secrecy and inefficiency that has undermined our ability to adequately do the work of the people,” Wittman said. “While this legislation takes steps to protect Social Security Disability Insurance from reductions in benefits and Medicare Part B recipients from premium hikes, those provisions could have been put in place much earlier in the process with input from all Members. Congress should have been meeting months ago to talk about a unified strategy and debate the merits of any deal. Instead, the House adjourned for August recess while these talks went on behind closed doors.”

The Bipartisan Budget Agreement would provide $607 billion defense spending in fiscal year 2016, falling $5 billion short of the budget request and House passed defense bill.

“Forced to act against a deadline,” Wittman continued, “we are accounting for significant spending increases with questionable offsets. We’re cutting $5 billion from an annual defense budget that we have been saying for months is already at the lower end of what our military needs to confidently deter challenges from around the world. This deal does not represent a sustainable approach to governing. What it does represent is complacency with a management-by-crisis leadership style that leaves the American people and the military in limbo. I believe that the $612 billion in defense spending requested by the President and provided by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the minimum we need to adequately train and equip our troops, provide for our veterans, and sustain shipbuilding and other support industries. I could not vote to approve this deal because it comes up short for our nation’s military, fails to adequately address our readiness shortfalls, does not provide for proper transparency, and creates significant questions about how increased spending will be paid for.”

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the 1st District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he is Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee.


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