Senate leaders reach sweeping spending deal

Bipartisan Senate leaders reached an agreement Wednesday on a sweeping spending deal.
1:34 | 02/07/18

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Transcript for Senate leaders reach sweeping spending deal
Not right I'm pleased to announce that our bipartisan. Bicameral negotiations. On defense spending and other priorities. Have yielded a significant. Agreement. I want to thank my friend the democratic leader of are joining me this afternoon and for the productive discussions. That I have generated. This proposal. The compromise Weaver each will ensure that for the first time in years. Our armed forces will have more of the resources. They need to keep America safe. It will help us serve the veterans who bravely. Served off. And it will ensure funding for important efforts such as disaster relief. Infrastructure. And building. On our work to fight all VO it abuse. And drug addiction. This bill as a product of extensive. Negotiations. Among congressional leaders. And the White House. No one would suggest. It is perfect. But we worked hard to find common ground they focused. On serving. The American people first and foremost. This bipartisan agreement will unwind this sequestration caught. That I am strong our armed forces and jeopardize. Our national security. Secretary matters. Should quote no enemy in the field. Has done more harm to the readiness of our military. Then seek restoration. For years not colleagues on the Senate Armed Services Committee led by German John McCain. I've spoken out about these damaging thoughts. In the face of content nearing an emerging threats these cuts have left us unable realized the potential. Of our vote missile defense capabilities. They whittled down our conventional forces. Leg and undue burden on forward deployed personnel. And their found. And they've shrunk sharply to a slow ship canal in nearly three decades. We haven't asked our men and women in uniform do left. For our country. We just forced them to make due with less than they date. This agreement. Changes that a in addition this bill provide for our returning heroes. Too often underfunded over complicated bureaucracy failed to deliver the care. Our veterans deserve. The trump administration and congress stock to the leadership of chairman Isaacson. Have made important progress for veterans. In the past year. This agreement. And will X by. Almost. Mr. and it will also bolster our ongoing national struggle against OP audit diction and substance abuse. It will fund new ground prevention programs. And law enforcement efforts and vulnerable communities. All across our country. It also provides funding for disaster relief efforts and last year powerful storms purple Puerto Rico. And US Virgin Islands. And damage mainland community from Florida. Contracting. Thanks to the efforts of members such as senator cornyn crews rubio and others. This bill. Will get more help. On the way. And they riddle will clear the way for a new investment in our nation's infrastructure. A bipartisan priority shared by the president. And lawmakers. Of both parties. This bill does not include the serious worker reminds before congress. After we passed up the appropriations committees will have six weeks to negotiate detailed appropriations and the Liverpool funding. For the remainder of fiscal year 28 Cain. But this bill represented should never got bipartisan step forward. I would urge every senator review this legislation and join us in voting it would announcement. Optical it's like my friend the democratic leader. I hope we can build on this bipartisan momentum and make 28 Jane a year of significant achievement for congress. Or our constituents. And for the country. That we all alone. Now one final matter in his outfit publicly many times our upcoming debate on dock off border security and other issues. Will be a process. That is fair to all sides. The bill a move to. Which will not have underlying immigration tax. We'll have an amendment process that will ensure a level playing field at the out there. The amendment process will be fair also. Allowing decides to alternate proposals. For consideration. And provoked. While obviously cannot guarantee any outcome lot of don't let alone supermajority support. I candidature of the processes flare also. And that is what I'm down. Good news. Missed madam president. Democratic leader first let me thank the Republican leader for his comments and his work these past several months. We have worked well together. For the good of the American people we had serious disagreement. But instead of just going to our own separate corners we came together with ended with an agreement that is very good for the American people. And recognizes needs that both sides of the aisle proffered. I'm pleased to announce that we have reached a two year budget deal. To lift the spending caps for defense. And urgent domestic priorities far above current spending levels. There wonder too final details to work out but all the principles of the agreement are in place. The budget deal doesn't have everything Democrats more. It doesn't have everything Republicans want but it has a great deal of what the American people. After months of legislative lock games. This budget deal was a genuine break through. After months of fiscal brinkmanship. This budget deal is the first real sprout. A bi partisanship. And it should break the long cycle. Of spending crises that if snarled this congress. And hampered our middle class. This budget deal will benefit our country in so many ways. Our men and women in uniform represent the very best of them ever. This budget. Gives our fighting forces. The resource is they need to keep our country safe and I want to join the Republican leader in saluting Senator McCain we wish you we're here. Because he has fought so valiantly. And so long for a good agreement for. B armed forces. The budget will also benefit. Many Americans here at home. Folks caught in the grip of OP awaited action. Veterans waiting in line to get health care students. Shouldering. Crippling college debt. Middle class families. Drowning. Under the cost of child care. Rural Americans. Lacking access to high speed Internet. Hard working pensioners. Watching their retirements. Slip away. Democrats have been fighting for the past year for these Americans in their priorities. We have always said. We need to increase defense spending for our armed forces. But we also need to increase. The kinds of programs that the middle class own needs and depends on. It is our jobs Americans. As senators. To make sure that middle class people can live a life of decency and dignity. So that they can hatch keep in their hearts the American belief that their kids will live a better life than they do. In this budget. We have moved for the first time in a long time a good deal forward on those issues. Alongside the increase in defense spending. The budget deal will live funding for domestic programs by a 131. Billion. Dollars. It will fully repealed the domestic sequestered caps while securing 57 billion dollars in additional funding including. Six billion dollars to fight against the OP Lloyd in mental health crises. Five point eight billion dollars for the bipartisan child care development block rate. Four billion dollars to rebuild and improve veterans' hospitals and clinics. Two billion dollars for critical research at the national institutes and health. And twenty billion dollars. To augment our existing infrastructure programs. Including surface transportation. Rural water and waste water clean and safe drinking water. Rural broadband so desperately needed in large parts of rural America. And energy infrastructure. And four billion dollars. For college affordability. Including programs that help police officers teachers firefighters. The deal also boost several health care programs. That we care a lot about in this country. An increase in funding for community health centers which serve 26 point five million Americans is included. My friend senators Murray testers Sanders and many others have been champions for these community health centers I want to thank them for the hard work they put. To get this darn. The Children's Health Insurance Program will be extended for an additional four years. Credit is due to our ranking member senator why. For his effort for this extension. American families with children who benefit for chat with chip. Will now be able to rest easy for the next decade. Seniors. Caught in the Medicare part. Which eases the coverage gap next year helping thousands millions. Of seniors afford prescription drugs we have waited long for this. Rural hospitals that struggled. Seniors children and safety net health care providers will benefit from a package. Of health tax Extenders as well. On the pension issue. Democrats secured a special select committee must but that must report. In legislative fix to the problem by December 2018. Millions of pensioners Teamsters carpenters miners. Bakery workers and so many more. Staring down carts to their hard earned pensions. They didn't do anything to cause those carts. Their livelihoods are stake to these pensions. We ought to make sure war. That they get every penny they aren't. We Democrats would have liked. To take up and pass the butch who was sacked. We couldn't reach an agreement to do that. But now we have a process and potentially the means and motivation to get it done and there were so many senators led by senator brown. Who were responsible for this and I want to acknowledge him and senators Casey and stab and mansion club which are. Ball McCaskill Donnelley and hide him. Who worked so long and hard. On pensions. The budget deal also includes long awaited disaster relief. For Texas Louisiana Florida the western states Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Many of these places are still taking their first steps. On the long march to recovery. Much of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands remains damaged and in the dark. This recovery aid could not have come a moment too soon senator Nelson worked very hard for both Florida and Puerto Rico relief. As did so many others in this chamber. I'd also like to thank our ranking member on the Appropriations Committee senator late. Who worked so diligently with his staff and his ranking members. On these issues as well as senator Murray. Who's been our peak in on health issues where we've made real progress. Today. The budget deal is a win the American people. Will also do. So much good for our military. And for so many middle class Americans. And finally. Consigned the arbitrary. And pointless sequestered caps. To the ash heap of history. And a final point mr. prep madam president. Or work here in congress on this budget deal between the Republican leader in on. Between the senate and the house was completed. Without a great deal of help from the White House. While president trump threatens shutdowns and stale makes. Congressional leaders have done the hard work. A finding compromise. And consensus. It's been a painstaking in monthlong process months long process. It is required concessions sometimes painful. By both sides. But at the end of the day. I believe we have reached a budget deal. That neither side loves. But both sides can be proud. That's compromise. That's governing. That's what we should be doing more in this body. And it is my sincere hope. That the Republican leader in art will continue to work together in this way. To get things done for the American people. Now of course we must finish the job. Later this week let's pass this budget into hall. Alongside an extension of government funding. I hope the house will follow suit and president trump will sign. I also hope that speaker Ryan will do what senator McConnell has agreed to do. Allow a fair and open process. To debate the dreamers bill on the house floor. This budget deal will be the best thing we've done for our economy. Our military. Our middle class. For a long time. I yield who.

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