Southwest Virginia’s Representatives and Virginia’s Senators pleased that that Congress has agreed on legislation to fund the government through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30, though they take differing stands on the best budget-making path forward.
Here’s a rundown of what they had to say Thursday:
Rep Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke County:
“The Continuing Resolution is a step in the right direction with responsible reductions in federal spending and flexibility for our military commanders in the field, while funding the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The second step is implementing a responsible, balanced budget like the plan that passed the House today. Unlike the past four years, I hope the Senate will be willing to engage with the House in the budget debate to get our fiscal house in order.”
Goodlatte said he voted for the House Republican budget, as well as the alternative with deeper cuts offered by the Republican Study Committee because “Balancing the budget is the responsibility of America’s lawmakers. I remain committed to fiscal responsibility and making the tough, but necessary, decisions to cut government spending to ensure a more prosperous future for America.”
Rep Morgan Griffith, R-Salem:
“This continuing resolution guarantees spending reduction brought about by Sequestration and keeps government running. It also gives flexibility to the Defense Department, Veterans Affairs, agricultural programs, and other programs regarding implementation of Sequestration.”
On the House’s budget plan, Griffith said: “The government must learn to live within its means and not spend money it doesn’t have. The House plan does just that. It lays out a blueprint that, if followed, will balance the budget in 10 years. We didn’t get into our spending problems in just a couple of years. In order to make the necessary cuts without inflicting unnecessary pain, we must make the adjustments over time. If you prune a bush a little bit each year, the bush does fine, but if you prune it all at once, you risk killing the bush. This House budget begins the process of pruning federal spending.”
Rep Robert Hurt, R-Pittsylvania County:
The vote to continue funding this year is “a positive step toward restoring fiscal stability in Washington. I am pleased that this measure reflects a lower level of discretionary spending — which is a step closer to ultimately balancing the federal budget. And at the same time, we have given the Administration the flexibility to ensure that we reduce spending in wasteful government bureaucracy and that we do not undermine our support for the men and women who are defending our nation.”
He said the House and Senate budgets offer “a very real and a very stark choice,” adding that the Senate’s budget “asks hardworking Americans to pay more in taxes, allows for more spending rather than spending cuts, does not look out for those in or near retirement as it drives Medicare further into bankruptcy, and despite hiking taxes, never achieves balance.” The House version, he said, “reduces wasteful spending to balance the budget … protects our seniors by strengthening Medicare,” and also would lower tax rates.
Sen. Mark R. Warner said the bill to fund the government through the fiscal year “provides commonsense flexibility to make smarter budget decisions, and it eliminates the risk of a government-wide shut down next week.”
Sen. Tim Kaine said “Passing government funding through the end of the fiscal year and averting yet another crisis at the end of the month is a responsible decision and another sign that both parties are ready to embrace an orderly process….
“I am particularly encouraged by the full appropriations that were included for defense and military construction, providing some relief for Virginia shipyard workers. After unfortunate delays in construction and maintenance, this will allow shipyards to move forward with construction and repairs to facilities including the USS Roosevelt and the USS Lincoln. I was also pleased the bill reinstates tuition assistance for the men and women in our military that was put in jeopardy due to the sequester.”