WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers released the following statement after both the U.S. House and Senate approved the Bipartisan Budget Act for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The two-year budget agreement extends government operations through March 23, 2018 and paves the way for comprehensive, long-term federal funding. The legislation provides critical investments in national defense, veterans benefits, failing infrastructure, emergency disaster aid, extensions for Medicare and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and combatting the nation's public health crisis resulting from opioid abuse and misuse.
"The Bipartisan Budget Agreement is the greatest compromise of the 115th Congress to date, putting Americans and our military first.
"This legislation honors our U.S. Armed Forces by removing restrictive spending caps so we can modernize our military fleet, enhance equipment, improve training and add strength through recruitment. Defense Secretary James Mattis pleaded with Congress to remain faithful to the men and women who bravely serve this nation - and this long-term budget deal accomplishes that goal. It also provides for our veterans by helping reduce the shameful maintenance backlog at the Veterans Administration.
"I applaud the investment of $20 billion in our infrastructure to repair failing rural water and wastewater systems, expand rural broadband, enhance transportation and other innovative programs. This legislation also builds on congressional efforts to combat the nation's opioid epidemic, committing another $6 billion to help turn back the tide of addiction through holistic, life-saving measures. I am also particularly pleased to see renewed funding for Community Health Centers, which are so vital for the wellness of many in our rural region.
"While I may not agree with everything in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, it is refreshing to see this Congress reach across the aisle for the greater good and provide certainty and sustainability for programs that are important to the American people, from children's health insurance, to Medicare, to education, to national security. Together, we are building a stronger, more secure America."