New Mexico’s Democratic Congressional leaders both cast votes in favor of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 yesterday. The budget compromise, which sets national funding for two years, passed the house 332 to 94.
Congressman Ben Ray Lujn of New Mexico’s Third District released the following statement today after voting for a compromise budget plan that reduces sequester cuts over the next two years:
“While this budget plan is not perfect, and neither side got everything they would have liked, it represents a compromise that takes important steps to chip away at the devastating cuts of the sequester. It rejects the calls of the extreme Tea Party elements that have demanded even deeper cuts that would harm New Mexico. Already in our state we have seen arbitrary sequester cuts negatively impact our economy and hurt our families. During this past year Head Start centers have shut down, workers were furloughed, and cuts to the national labs rippled through the state’s economy.
“By reducing part of the sequester cuts and providing certainty and stability over the next two years, this plan puts Congress on a path to fund the government without legislating from one crisis to the next.
“Passing this budget plan is a small step forward; however, I am disappointed with the House’s failure to act on other critical issues facing families in New Mexico. Yesterday, I called on Speaker Boehner to keep the House in session and pass an extension of unemployment benefits before recessing for the year. More work is needed to pass a Farm Bill that supports our farmers, ranchers, and dairy producers, and that provides funding for critical nutrition programs. And House Republicans have yet to allow a vote on much-needed immigration reform to fix our broken system. With all this important work that remains, the House should stay in session until more progress is made for the people of New Mexico.”
Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01), a member of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement after voting for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
“After years of unacceptable gridlock, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have finally agreed to a budget compromise that alleviates some of sequestration’s harmful across-the-board cuts, reduces the threat of another government shutdown and provides certainty in the budget process over the next two years.
“To be sure, this agreement is far from perfect. I have serious concerns with certain aspects. Most notably, it doesn’t extend soon-to-expire unemployment insurance for the thousands of long-term unemployed New Mexicans and it forces our state’s federal employees to disproportionately shoulder the burden of deficit reduction.
“But despite these shortcomings, I voted for this budget resolution because it moves us away from the gridlock and crisis-to-crisis legislating that does nothing but harm New Mexicans. In addition, it will serve as the foundation for continued bipartisan negotiations that can lead to a budget that more closely reflects my priorities: providing complete relief from the sequester, giving stability to New Mexico working families and businesses, creating jobs and reducing the deficit in a balanced and responsible way.”