News Releases

Murray amendment to GOP budget would roll back sequestration for defense and non-defense investments

 

Murray: “Democrats and Republicans across the country have said that the across-the-board cuts to both defense and non-defense investments are terrible policy…need to be replaced”

 

MURRAY AMENDMENT BLOCKED BY COMMITTEE REPUBLICANS: Murray to continue fighting to replace automatic cuts, urges Republicans to work with her

 

Washington, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced and called for a Budget Committee vote on her amendment to the Senate Republican Budget that would replace sequestration evenly across defense and non-defense investments for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Republicans voted Murray’s amendment down in the Committee, but she plans to continue fighting in the Committee and on the floor to build on the bipartisan budget deal and roll back the automatic cuts that are hurting families, communities, and the economy in Washington state and across the country.

“Democrats and Republicans across the country have said that the across-the-board cuts to both defense and non-defense investments are terrible policy, an absurd way to reduce the deficit, and need to be replaced,” said Murray while introducing her amendment. “I urge my colleagues to support this amendment so we can agree on responsible and realistic topline spending numbers for this year and allow the Appropriations Committees to do their work without waiting for another crisis…if my Republican colleagues have any other ideas for how we get this done—my door is open, and I am ready to get to work.”

At the end of 2013, Senator Murray and Representative Paul Ryan worked with their colleagues to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act, which prevented another government shutdown, rolled back sequestration evenly across defense and non-defense discretionary spending for two years, and moved Congress away from the constant crises. 

The full text of Murray’s remarks introducing the bill follows:

Chairman Enzi, Ranking Member Sanders, I offer my amendment to build on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 and extend the replacement of sequestration through fiscal years 2016 and 2017. 

I don’t have to explain to most members of this committee why we need to replace the senseless automatic cuts with more responsible savings—I know almost all of you agree. 

Democrats and Republicans across the country have said that the across-the-board cuts to both defense and non-defense investments are terrible policy, an absurd way to reduce the deficit, and need to be replaced. 

There are Republicans on this Committee who have been very vocal about the need to roll back the cuts—and have even expressed openness to using revenue from the tax code to get this done.

Last year Democrats and Republicans were able to reach an agreement that rolled back the worst of these automatic cuts for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. 

Our deal prevented another government shutdown, moved us away from the constant crises, and restored critical investments in research, education, defense jobs, and more, and helped get the economy going again.

So this amendment builds on that deal and extends it for two more years.

It maintains the principle that Democrats will not abandon—that sequestration should be replaced evenly across defense and non-defense investments.

And it replaces the automatic cuts with new revenue from closing tax loopholes used by the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, which, since this budget already contains massive spending cuts but no new revenue, would maintain the principle that sequestration should be replaced with a mix of responsible spending cuts and new revenue from those who can afford it most.

Finally, it includes language to automatically release the additional defense and nondefense funding to the Appropriations Committee upon the increase in the statutory caps, similar to language passed in the previous Senate Budget.   

So I urge my colleagues to support this amendment so we can agree on responsible and realistic topline spending numbers for this year and allow the Appropriations Committees to do their work without waiting for another crisis.

And if my Republican colleagues have any other ideas for how we get this done—my door is open—and I am ready to get to work.