Blaine’s Bulletin: Bipartisan Budget Agreement

Washington, July 26, 2019

From a first job, to saving for a car, to starting a family, to planning for retirement, throughout our lives we are taught the importance of budgeting and reminded of the consequences of missed deadlines or unrestrained spending. Year after year, it is apparent that some in Washington D.C. need a refresher on this lesson as yet another budget deadline passes by. Let us remember, these are not inconsequential deadlines. Along with each missed deadline comes the threat of a million-dollar government shutdown putting our troops and the government services so many Missourians depend on squarely in the crosshairs.

This week, I supported the Bipartisan Budget Agreement negotiated by the Trump administration and Congressional leaders. Although compromise is often unheard of in Washington D.C., the Bipartisan Budget Agreement provides budgetary certainty through Fiscal Year 2021 in addition to supporting border security and our troops.

After continued threats of sequestration, years of uncertainty and imprudent cuts to defense spending, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement is a major victory for the Department of Defense and our troops. Without a budget agreement, defense spending would be cut by more than $70 billion dollars due to sequestration. By establishing new budget caps to properly fund our national defense, the budget compromise will maintain our competitive edge, while supporting our troops and closing the critical readiness gap. In particular, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement provides a much-needed increase for VA MISSION, ensuring we are supporting those who dedicated their lives to defending our nation.

Not only will the budget deal provide for our military, it strongly supports the President’s efforts to secure our border. Despite the constant fight by some in Congress to withhold border security funding, the Bipartisan Budget Agreement makes available up to $7 billion for the wall.  It also provides additional resources for the ongoing humanitarian crises at the southern border. The federal government’s biggest responsibility is the safety of our nation and this bill is certainly focused on that priority.

With a divided government, every bill that becomes law requires compromise, and this bill is no exception. There are several changes I would have made had I written the bill on my own.  However, the reality is Americans, and their representatives in Congress, have different priorities and conflicting visions for the country. The negotiations led by the President and Speaker Pelosi were long and, at times, contentious. Ultimately, the President succeeded in producing a bill that represents the priorities of Missouri, including strong pro-life protections, and I was proud to stand with him in support. The Bipartisan Budget Agreement is a welcome deviation from the normal cycle of partisanship and an encouraging indication of what can be accomplished when political theater is put aside for the betterment of the country.