2018-02-11 / Opinion

Rep. Mitchell favors budget deal

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders unveiled a massive two-year budget deal Wednesday, a major victory for both parties meant prevent a government shutdown at the end of this week and increase the federal government’s spending. But the plan still needs to pass the House, where it’s already facing strong headwinds.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled the deal with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor, which would boost military and non-defense spending by $300 billion over the next two years as well as add more than $80 billion in disaster relief. About $160 billion would go to the Pentagon and about $128 billion would to non-defense programs. The agreement also includes aid to respond to recent natural disasters.

The key outlying issue appears to be for how long to hike the debt ceiling, which the U.S. is expected to hit next month, though the exact parameters were still being negotiated when the deal was announced.

Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Dryden Township, commented on the proposed deal. “As I said earlier this week on the House floor, continuing resolutions and mounting deficits are serious concerns for our nation, however it’s essential that Congress fulfills its most basic obligations to keep the lights on and defend our nation,” said Mitchell.

“This budget deal breaks the gridlock that has backed up Congress for the past several years, and allows us to move forward on issues facing our nation and folks back home. It allows Congress to fund and rebuild our military, which has been devastated by insufficient funding for too long. It directs resources to fight the opioid epidemic, tackle the VA backlog, and invest in infrastructure.”

Mitchell continued, “It provides two years of funding to community health centers, including the 11 centers in the 10th District of Michigan, and provides a four-year extension to current six-year funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), ensuring the program is funded for the next 10 years. I’ve been working with a group of my colleagues to develop fundamental reforms to fix our budget process and tackle our deficit issue. With this two-year deal behind us, we will be able to address these issues in a constructive manner. I urge my colleagues to support this agreement.”

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