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House Democrat Budget & Appropriations Leaders Call on Congress to Raise the Spending Caps

May 18, 2017

#RaiseTheCaps press conference

Washington, D.C. – Today House Budget Committee Ranking Member John Yarmuth, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, House Budget Committee Vice Ranking Member Pramila Jayapal, and House Appropriations Committee Vice Ranking Member Derek Kilmer joined with representatives from NDD United at a press conference calling on Congress to raise the 2018 spending caps. If no action is taken, Congress will face irresponsible and arbitrary austerity-level caps that threaten our country’s economy, security, and standing as a global leader.
 
The members also called for Congress to continue the tradition of parity—equal amounts of spending increases for defense and nondefense programs—that previous bipartisan agreements on the spending caps have implemented.   In contrast, President Trump’s budget blueprint increased defense spending levels at the expense of nondefense investments, a short-sighted and cold-hearted proposal that guts services and programs vital to American families.
 
“The current 2018 spending caps are far too low and would leave our country unable to make investments critical to our families, our economy, and our security,” said Yarmuth. “Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget blueprint takes us in the wrong direction, cutting even more funding for programs that support health research, environmental protection, housing programs, diplomacy initiatives, and much more. Members of Congress of both parties have the responsibility – and the opportunity -- to invest in both non-defense and defense spending, boost economic development, and guarantee that every American family has the chance to build a better future. We’ve raised the caps in a bipartisan manner before, and we must do so again.”
 
“A failure to raise existing spending caps on defense and nondefense – combined with our late start and an erratic President who seems to want a government shutdown – would set this year’s Appropriations process up for failure,” said Lowey.  “We need a budget framework that makes it possible for Congress to pass responsible spending bills, and fulfill our responsibilities at home and abroad.  Democrats will again work in good faith in this critical process, but we will not help pass spending bills that jeopardize investments in hardworking American families.”
 
"I was proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues and NDD United this morning to call for robust investment in our domestic priorities," said Hoyer. "On Tuesday, the President is expected to unveil a budget that busts through spending caps for defense while slashing domestic investment, which are also critical to our defense. We can't have a secure nation if our citizens aren't educated, aren't healthy, and don't have access to opportunities. Democrats will continue to demand parity between defense and non-defense spending, and I urge my Republican colleagues to reject the Trump budget and work with us to raise the caps."
 
"This budget is more than just numbers on a page—it represents our moral values and our commitment to the future of this country. Trump’s proposed budget eliminates funding for crucial Community Development Block Grants like Meals on Wheels and Head Start programs for kids, it slashes funding from the EPA and eliminates 3,200 jobs across the country," said Jayapal. "It is a cruel joke on working people. We need a budget that makes us healthier, safer and better off. Now is the time to invest in communities, working families and job growth—that’s an effective budget, and it’s the vision I intend to fight for."
 
“Folks we represent want Congress to help get this economy cooking and make our communities safer and more prosperous,” said Kilmer. “But President Trump’s budget proposal hurts cops on the beat, families in rural communities that want clean water flowing to their homes, and businesses that need to get their products to market on workable roads. The American people deserve better.”   
 
NDD United is an alliance of hundreds of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans.
 
"Supporting public health is supporting our nation’s security. Diseases like Ebola, Zika, and the next as yet unidentified infectious disease don't stop at our borders, and threaten the health and wellbeing of Americans here and abroad,” said Ben Corb, NDD United Co-Chair with American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Federal support for combatting the spread of the diseases is critically important."
“We call on Congress, on a bipartisan basis, to reject these senseless and harmful budget cuts, as was done in the 2017 omnibus. But, simply rejecting the Trump budget cuts isn't enough – we need to increase investments in education,” said Joel Packer, NDD United Founding Co-Chair and Former Executive Director of Committee for Education Funding. “It’s critical for the sake of our students, schools, and colleges – indeed for the future of our nation - that Congress again raise the spending caps, maintain parity with any defense increases, and provide the investments needed for students from preschool to graduate education, that will lead to better-paying jobs, increased economic growth, and improved American competiveness.”