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Commentary

U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei

I’ve always said the 115th Congress is the hard-vote Congress, and today’s vote was another example of this. Despite the House acting months ago to fund the federal government’s expenses at Budget Control Act amounts, as well as taking action to send the Senate a funding bill on Tuesday to keep the government open – it appears the Senate’s fascination with last-minute spending, and now, budget surprises has continued today; by returning a bill that deals with a myriad of spending issues, ignored ad nauseam for years, but now sought to be solved after mere hours of work behind closed doors.

As usual, the challenge is turning lemons into lemonade. In my opinion, funding increases for America’s defense, infrastructure, health care system, and interior and land management responsibilities are sincerely needed. Going forward, the fiscal impacts on annual deficits and the national debt cannot be ignored. This is why my staff and I have discussed the pros and cons regarding all of these areas with cabinet secretaries, agency heads, and additional economic sources, in an attempt to ascertain the “net” cost of increased federal spending and the impacts on annual budget deficits and the national debt. Yes folks, we read the bill. It is our expectation that the economic benefits generated from investing in these spending priorities will nearly offset the increases in spending. Accordingly, I voted for the Bipartisan Budget Act.

My decision to vote in support of the measure was based on reviewing these federal spending increases and analyzing their final net cost. When you consider recapturing the amounts returned directly as federal taxes such as income, excise, fuel, and others; combined with other direct and indict impacts to the federal Treasury brought about by the financial and commercial activity of increased federal dollars in employee, contractor, supplier, consultant, and service members’ pockets, I expect this legislation to lift economic input in Nevada and throughout the nation, resulting in increased tax collections.

Finally, while I did not vote with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, I agree with his analysis and criticism of the Senate’s sad present culture which rejects the notion that appropriations and budget work ought to be done in a transparent fashion in committee hearings and on the Floor. The House has been doing just that. The Senate’s addiction to doing the nation’s business in a small room with the door closed at the last minute is embarrassing – and shameful.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto

I am encouraged by this breakthrough and hope that this bipartisan spirit will carry over to our efforts to put Dreamers on a pathway to citizenship. This agreement increases investments in several of our domestic priorities, including combating the opioid epidemic, funding community health centers, and giving low-income parents of children on CHIP certainty that their kids’ health care is secure through the next decade. This budget agreement will finally start to give our military the budget certainty it needs to plan for our long-term security. It will improve our veterans’ health care system and provide additional needed investments in our nation’s transportation, rural broadband, and energy infrastructure through real federal funding and tax credits. The budget also contains critical recovery funds to Americans in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico impacted by deadly hurricanes.

Despite its many achievements, this budget is far from perfect. It fails to provide much-needed funding to help with management and mitigation efforts crucial to preventing and combating wildfires in the West. But I support this agreement as a commitment to investing in priorities important to Nevadans while giving time to reach a bipartisan compromise that puts Dreamers on a pathway to citizenship.”

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