Washington, D.C.– G. William Hoagland, senior vice president at BPC and a former Senate Budget Committee staff director, said the budget agreement announced today is a “significant step forward.” The following is his full statement:
“The just-announced bipartisan budget agreement for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 spending levels is a significant step forward.
“The deal halts the ham-handed and destructive sequester process, gives predictability and stability to both defense and non-defense accounts, avoids another government shutdown, and holds out at least the promise that Congress can begin to appropriate and budget in an orderly manner in the future.
The bipartisan budget agreement for Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 spending levels is a significant step forward.
“The agreement is far from perfect. Large deficits will result, in part stemming from the large tax cuts enacted late last year.
“The agreement contains much that is good and necessary, including long-delayed disaster relief funding for Puerto Rico and states ravaged from last year’s hurricanes and wildfires. A down payment of $20 billion will begin to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure and $6 billion will help fight the opioid crisis.
“What it fails to contain—material offsets to new spending by either reform in entitlements or added revenues—leaves Congress with a great challenge. Can policymakers now focus on the true causes of federal deficits or will they continue to cross their collective fingers and hope that the economic impact of unprecedented deficits will occur on some other Congress’ watch?”