U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp today released the following statement after voting for the bipartisan two-year budget agreement. The budget, which already passed the House by a vote of 332-94, reduces the deficit without increasing taxes and halts some of the harsh, across-the-board spending cuts -- known as sequestration -- adopted by the previous Congress.
"We need to get Congress working again and get our fiscal house in order. It's past time the partisan bickering comes to an end and we work together -- Republicans and Democrats -- to find real solutions for North Dakota and our country, as I have worked to do. That means passing a bipartisan budget every year, which will help reduce our deficit and provide much-needed certainty to our economy.
"While this budget compromise isn't the bill that I would have written, it moves us in the right direction. Importantly, this budget rolls back some of the reckless across-the-board spending cuts that the previous Congress agreed to. Instead of a targeted approach, these harsh cuts have disproportionately affected the most vulnerable among us by slashing Head Start programs for low-income children, cutting housing and health care support for Native American families, and ending Meals on Wheels programs that offered meals to senior citizens.
"North Dakotans deserve better than what Congress has given them in the past few years. It's my hope that this agreement will pave the way for more bipartisan efforts, while reducing uncertainty in our economy and addressing our federal deficit."