March 27, 2015

Kaine Statement On Passage Of Senate Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement after voting against the Fiscal Year 2016 Senate Budget Resolution, which passed 52-46:

“I am pleased the Senate – in a bipartisan vote – passed an amendment I introduced to pave the way to replace both defense and non-defense sequester cuts with a balanced package of cuts in spending and tax expenditures. However, I was not able to support a budget that so negatively impacts our economy, women and seniors and relies on gimmicks that fail to solve our long-term fiscal challenges. A number of other amendments I advocated on the floor and in committee were also included in the final budget, including reserve funds for legislation to facilitate the safe movement of oil by rail and give tax credits to small businesses to provide health insurance. But the ultimate product remained too harmful to our country’s fiscal future to support.”

During the amendment process on the Senate floor, Kaine offered an amendment to ease the real harm sequester is causing to our national security, as well as to areas like infrastructure and education that are key to future economic growth.  His amendment, which passed 50-48, called for replacing sequester cuts in defense and non-defense accounts with a balanced package of changes in mandatory programs, targeted discretionary cuts and cuts in tax expenditures. Such a package would be similar to the two-year “Murray-Ryan” sequester replacement deal passed by Congress in 2013. This amendment creates a pathway for legislation addressing the sequester cuts to be considered on the floor.

During the Budget Committee’s amendment process last week, Kaine’s amendment to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to bolster the resilience of Department of Defense infrastructure to better withstand the impacts of climate change was passed with bipartisan support. The committee also passed Kaine’s amendment to support the expansion of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, as well as amendments he co-sponsored to address the heroin and prescription opioid epidemic and protect our national security by strengthening our civilian federal workforce.

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