Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined the full Senate in voting for the bipartisan budget agreement, which was approved by a vote of 64-36. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly last week by a bipartisan vote of 332-94.
Udall, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has been fighting for budget certainty and an end to the devastating sequestration cuts, which have disproportionately hurt New Mexico. He issued the following statement:
“While the budget bill is not exactly what I would have written, it does two very important things for New Mexico. It rolls back sequestration’s harmful cuts to national defense, the national labs, public land agencies, and many other federal installations that are critical to New Mexico’s economy. It also lays out federal budgets for the next two years, providing a level of certainty that New Mexico’s federal installations have said is desperately needed. I am willing to work to remedy the problematic parts of this agreement in future legislation. I have cosponsored a bill that would restore an unfair cut to working-age military retirees’ cost of living adjustments, and I will continue to fight against making permanent an administrative fee on oil and gas royalties that costs New Mexico around $10 million a year.
“Without this budget measure, we face more conflict over spending and likely further job losses in New Mexico. Another short-term spending measure like those we’ve passed recently would lock in sequestration’s economically devastating across-the-board cuts and could lead to a government shutdown in just a few short weeks. Officials at New Mexico’s federal installations have assured me that not only would another round of cuts and budget dysfunction lead to layoffs, it would also negatively impact national security and likely cause irreparable harm to the government’s ability to recruit and retain the best minds in science, research and management.
“You wouldn’t run a successful business by lurching from crisis to crisis and budgeting a few weeks at a time — and it’s no way to run a government. I’m going to continue to work toward sensible, bipartisan solutions that keep our budgets in check while maintaining our government services, and keeping our national defense strong and our economy healthy in New Mexico and around the country.”
U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich released the following statement today after voting in favor of a bipartisan budget resolution authored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) that does away with some of the arbitrary spending cuts known as the sequester for two years while reducing long-term spending through other savings:
“It isn’t perfect, but this budget agreement means we now have a bipartisan blueprint for how much to spend over the next two years. This will help avoid another government shutdown and give families and businesses the certainty they need to spend and invest in ways that will help boost the economy.
“Between sequestration furloughs, a government shutdown, and Congress’ inability to compromise, hard-working New Mexicans have had to carry the burdens of economic uncertainty and financial hardship. And it’s clear that all of this has slowed economic growth at a time when too many American families are trying to get back on their feet.
“I hope that the strong support for this budget marks the end of governing by manufactured crises and a return to strengthening the middle class by focusing on what matters to New Mexicans: growing the economy and making sure they get a fair shake at getting ahead.”