After the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives came to a budget agreement, legislators from Virginia have come forward with their responses.
Statement of Senator Mark Warner
“My hope is this compromise allows us to step away from the irrational harm of sequestration, which hits Virginia harder than any other state. This is a productive step forward that avoids another shutdown and allows the government to operate with more predictability over the short term. I have some concerns about the impact on the federal workforce and our military retirees, which is another reason why we need to tackle the larger and more important issues of tax and entitlement reforms to fix our balance sheet over the long term.”
Statement of Congressman Eric Cantor
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Eric Cantor (VA-7) released the following statement on the budget agreement reached today by Chairmen Paul Ryan and Patty Murray:“I’m pleased that Chairmen Ryan and Murray have presented a budget agreement that reduces the deficit, makes long term pension reforms and doesn’t raise taxes. This agreement is a step forward consistent with prior Republican attempts to replace the sequester’s indiscriminate across-the-board cuts. The agreement protects our national security and improves our defenses in a world that remains very dangerous, especially as Iran marches towards nuclear capability. This agreement is a first step, but more work needs to be done. Working middle class families have to balance their household budget and cut spending when they’re overdrawn, and the federal government should be no different.”
Statement of Senator Tim Kaine
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the bipartisan Budget Conference Committee, released the following statement on the budget deal reached today:
“Ever since I took office last January, I made it a mission to do everything I could to replace the across-the-board sequester cuts that have so severely hurt Virginia and return to normal budgetary order. I even delivered my maiden floor speech last February on the urgent need to find compromise and avert sequestration. Tonight, I’m pleased that after passing a Senate budget for the first time in four years and going to conference with the House, a deal has been reached.
“I’m disappointed that reductions in the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for military retirees and cuts to federal employee benefits were included. But the deal goes a long way toward alleviating the most harmful effects of sequestration next year – cuts that have disproportionately impacted federal employees and the defense community – and restoring basic economic certainty to businesses and families across the Commonwealth. It also ensures we won’t suffer another damaging government shutdown next month that would have resulted in more negative consequences for federal employees.
“The two-year, bipartisan agreement will relieve $63 billion of sequester cuts for 2014 and 2015. It will also avert additional defense cuts – including $20 billion in cuts that were set to take effect in January 2014 – and replace non-defense cuts over the next two years. We’ve also given appropriators the certainty they need to write full appropriations bills – a significant step toward ending the dangerous pattern of stopgap, governing-by-crisis measures that have plagued the budgeting process in recent years.
“While I’m still examining the details of the deal, I am pleased a spirit of compromise and cooperation prevailed.”