Home Budget, Economy Sen. Kaine Praises “Big Virginia Wins” in Senate Budget Deal

Sen. Kaine Praises “Big Virginia Wins” in Senate Budget Deal

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From Sen. Tim Kaine’s office, which touts the Senate budget deal’s “Big Virginia Wins” and which argues that the deal “is good for the country and good for Virginia.” Personally, I agree there were some significant wins in here, as well as some stuff (e.g, massive increases in military spending; I’m not against any increase, but I thought this was excessive) I don’t particularly like.  Now, on to dealing with immigration, and particularly the DREAMers! – Lowell

Here are some key pieces of the deal:

  • Fully undoes sequestration that has been painful to Virginia’s military community
  • Provides additional funding for both military and domestic programs
    • Military – Increases military spending by $80 billion in FY2018 and $85 billion in FY2019 to boost national security and support our servicemembers
    • Domestic – Increases domestic spending by $63 billion in FY2018 and $68 billion in FY2019 to increase funding for education, health programs, and non-defense national security initiatives.
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – Funds CHIP for an additional 4 years, totaling 10 years of funding for a program that more than 66,000 children in Virginia rely on for care;
  • Community Health Centers – Includes a 2-year extension of federally qualified community health centers. Approximately 300,000 Virginians receive health care at more than 100 community health center locations in underserved communities across Virginia. 

In addition, negotiators agreed to fund the following programs critical to Virginia:

  • Veterans – $2 billion for FY 18 and $2 billion for FY 19 to reduce the VA health care maintenance backlog
  • Child Care – $2.9 billion for FY 18 and $2.9 billion for FY 19 for child care, including for the Child Care Development Block Grant program;
  • Higher Education – $2 billion for FY 18 and $2 billion for FY 19 for programs that aid college completion and affordability, including those that help police officers, teachers, and firefighters;
  • Drug Addiction and Mental Health – $3 billion for FY18 and $3 billion for FY19 to combat the substance abuse epidemic;
  • Infrastructure: Transportation, Clean Water and Broadband – $10 billion for FY 18 and $10 billion for FY 19 to invest in infrastructure, including programs related to rural water and wastewater, clean and safe drinking water, rural broadband, roads, rail and bridges

Sen. Tim Kaine statement: “The bipartisan deal is good for the country and good for Virginia. This long-term budget fully funds our military and makes big investments in transportation, drug addiction treatment, disaster relief, resources for rural communities, and veterans’ care. And it lifts the budget caps for two years and sidelines the threat of sequestration that has hurt our national defense and the Hampton Roads region. I am proud to have worked with a bipartisan group of my colleagues last month on negotiations to reopen the government that led us toward this deal, but our work isn’t done. We now must build on this bipartisan progress and immediately proceed to debate and pass legislation that permanently protects Dreamers.”

  • STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK R. WARNER

    ~ On bipartisan budget agreement ~

    WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) issued the following statement on the bipartisan budget agreement passed by Congress and signed by the President:

    “Today, I voted to keep the government open and provide certainty for our budget after months of unnecessary delays and frustrating efforts to kick the can down the road. This bill ensures that the military, the federal workforce, and other programs have a roadmap for the next two years by fixing the “stupidity on steroids” of the sequester cuts first enacted in 2011. In addition, this bill provides critical funding to address important priorities like fighting the opioid crisis, disaster relief, and included an additional four years of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and bipartisan Medicare reforms.

    “I do have grave concerns about language that has been inserted into this package which may hinder the ability of the Senate Intelligence Committee to conduct aggressive, real-time oversight over the entire intelligence community. I intend to work with Chairman Burr and my colleagues in the coming weeks to resolve this issue.

    “I voted for this package reluctantly. While it includes many worthy priorities, it was put together without any semblance of fiscal responsibility, and comes on the heels of the budget-busting $2.5 trillion Republican tax package. Experts tell us that when you combine this spending bill with the tax package, the deficit will easily blow past one trillion dollars next year. In 2015, it was less than half that.

    “I was in business longer than I was in politics, and I know that there are times when you need to make critical investments, and even sometimes operate at a loss. But this has gotten to a point of being indefensible. Unemployment is low, the economy is stable, yet here we are, putting money on the nation’s credit card. In the absence of leadership from the White House, Congress must step up and get serious about finding balanced solutions for our long-term fiscal challenges.”

  • RobertColgan

    700 BILLION for “Defense”………………….? This is sane?!?!?!?
    That’s money that could go to fully fund healthcare for everyone
    To fund non-polluting energy implementation
    To fund education for people that can’t afford it
    To fund long-term nursing care for the elderly/dying
    To fund environmental clean up
    To fund works projects similar to the WPA and CCC

    ANYTHING BUT THIS INSANITY OF PAYING HUGE AMOUNTS OF TAXPAYERS’ DOLLARS to the weapons manufacturers and those who seek ways to kill.

    Obviously significant cuts to Defense Spending cannot fund all of the above programs——-but it could seed them, implement them. It could be money that grows a different nation.

    Let me make this simple:
    You are worried about your house, a sizable investment you want to leave for your children.
    So you install a burglar alarm system.
    It’s good, but you’re worried it might fail so you install an operational back up system.
    Three’s better—–so you back up the back up with another alarm system.
    You realize electronics are not hackproof so you decide to also hire a person to guard the front door.
    You decide that you should have a guard at the back door also.
    Then you think that maybe there should be some additional guards on the sides of the property so you hire more guards.
    After a while you realize that your defense is costing you more than the house mortgage and you are going under——–but you decide it will be better to just get another mortgage rather than cut the defense spending.
    Then another mortgage.
    Finally, when it comes time to leave the estate to the children, it’s so deeply in debt the children have to literally disown any debt obligation and have to walk away with nothing.

    THIS ^, is America’s current financial status…….an empire crumbling under its military debt load.
    And IF Sens Kaine, and Warner, and all the Reps don’t finally begin to address this——-they are complicit in killing US solvency.