Blue Dog Leadership Statement on the Federal Budget Deal
Today, the co-chairs of the fiscally-responsible, Democratic Blue Dog Coalition—Reps. Jim Costa (D-CA), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), and Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)—released the following statement on the passage of the budget deal after the federal government temporarily shut down overnight. The deal allows for the federal government to remain open until March 23, 2018:
“This morning, Americans woke up to the news that the federal government shut down for the second time in less than a month under a Republican-led Congress. This vote is not something to celebrate. Congress did not have to shut down the government to vote on a bipartisan deal. Yet, because both parties have continuously viewed bipartisanship as a last resort, the budget deal was attached to a measure to keep the government open for one more month—another sign of dysfunction. Congress must return to sanity, it must return to regular order, and it must prioritize bipartisan solutions.
“The American people are tired of Congress continuing to lurch from one self-inflicted crisis to another. Yet, both parties continue to cater to the extremes, leading to even more dysfunction. We must get out of this self-destructive pattern.”
“Under a Republican-led House, Senate, and White House, we have seen no sign of the fiscal discipline. Last year, the national debt surpassed $20 trillion for the first time in U.S. history. Under the new Republican tax law, our debt will grow by at least $1.5 trillion. Last year, our annual deficit was over $600 billion and this year’s annual deficit is projected to reach $800 billion—both of which are too high. Under the budget deal that was signed into law this morning, at least $320 billion will be added to our annual deficit. That means under the leadership of the Republican Party—a party that campaigned on reining in our national debt—we will see at least a $1 trillion annual deficit. We have reached a point where fiscal conservatism is nowhere to be found in the Republican Party.
“However, we hope this is a point of reckoning. Congress has a chance to do the right thing. We need to come together, as Democrats and Republicans, to put our nation’s fiscal house back in order for the sake of all Americans, and for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
“As we move forward, we hope leadership adopts a new, prioritized strategy: bipartisanship. As Blue Dogs, we will continue to fight for commonsense solutions to get Congress working again. Because the American people deserve better.”