by Jim Nintzel
Today’s vote is about providing certainty to Southern Arizona families, businesses, and seniors and strengthening our national defense. The Bipartisan Budget Agreement takes us away from the harmful partisan brinkmanship and salami slice-style budgeting that has weakened our military and hurt our readiness. It provides stability to our brave men and women serving in harm’s way, whom the President has shamefully been using as a political bargaining chip over the last month. This deal puts an end to his grandstanding by setting a minimum defense budget for the next two years.Democratic U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva's statement (with fellow Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison):
The agreement also takes many positive actions like preventing a Medicare premium spike on millions of seniors, avoiding a catastrophic default on our debt, and restoring Congress’ ability to make appropriations that reflect our country’s priorities.
However, today’s deal does not replace the need for a defense authorization bill, which the President vetoed last week. We still have work to do to ensure the provisions I fought for protecting the A-10 and EC-130H next year are signed into law, and I’ll continue to work to make that happen.
While the proposed budget meets many of the budget principles laid out by the Progressive Caucus, it is not a visionary budget. We need to raise revenue and end sequestration. We need to invest in infrastructure, work force training, medical research, education, and environmental sustainability. We are concerned that this deal could force Social Security Disability Insurance recipients to jump through unnecessary hoops to get the benefits they have earned.
This deal meets the minimum requirements for the Progressive Caucus. It merely keeps the lights on, and does not fully address the needs of working Americans. In the coming months, Congress needs to uphold this deal by passing a final appropriations bill free of harmful partisan riders that could jeopardize support and force a government shut-down.
We need to end to austerity budgeting once and for all so we can invest in the American people and build an economy that works for everyone.