All three Republican congressmen who represent parts of Southwest Virginia supported the bipartisan, two-year budget deal passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives.
The deal brokered by House and Senate negotiators will fund federal agencies through the fall of 2015 and replace automatic cuts to defense and discretionary programs with targeted reductions and some fee increases. The Republican-controlled House voted 332-94 to pass the bill, despite opposition to the compromise by some conservative advocacy groups. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure next week.
Reps. Bob Goodlatte of Roanoke County, Morgan Griffith of Salem and Robert Hurt of Chatham voted for the bill. In October, all three voted against a measure that ended the partial government shutdown and paved the way for negotiations on the bill passed today.
“While greater spending cuts moving forward will be required to put our nation back on a path toward fiscal responsibility, this budget deal is a small step towards meaningful deficit reduction,” Goodlatte said in a statement released by his office. “This budget deal lays the groundwork for a federal budget that reduces spending, makes small entitlement reforms, does not raise taxes, ensures military readiness, and restores Congress’ authority to determine how federal tax dollars are spent through the appropriations process.”
Griffith noted that the bill contains a three-month extension of programs to help rural hospitals and seniors.
“This agreement could have been stronger,” Griffith said in a statement released tonight. “But in light of the fact that the Senate is controlled by Democrats, this is the best deal possible. Both the Democrats and the Republicans worked together to reach this compromise. Neither political party loved the bill. As I learned in the House of Delegates, when both sides don’t love a compromise bill, it is probably a fair compromise.”
Hurt said the budget plan “is not a solution to our debt crisis, but it is a step in the right direction.”
“This budget plan reduces our long-term deficit without raising taxes,” Hurt said. “We have exchanged one-time cuts for long-term spending reforms that are not only good deficit reduction policy, but will also secure our military readiness by giving our troops the resources they need to defend our nation.”