WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Bob Goodlatte released the following statement after voting in support of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives this evening by a vote of 332-94:
"Tonight's vote represents the product of hard-fought negotiations between Republicans in the House and Democrats in the Senate. While greater spending cuts moving forward will be required to put our nation back on a path toward fiscal responsibility, this budget deal is a small step towards meaningful deficit reduction. This budget deal lays the groundwork for a federal budget that reduces spending, makes small entitlement reforms, does not raise taxes, ensures military readiness, and restores Congress' authority to determine how federal tax dollars are spent through the appropriations process. I would have preferred to vote for a continuing resolution at lower levels, but unfortunately there were not the necessary 218 votes for such a measure. This budget deal has advantages, however. By returning to a regular appropriations process, we can bring up each appropriations bill separately, and will no longer cede the power of the purse to unelected bureaucrats. Continuing resolutions provide no opportunity to change or update policies and spending levels. This budget deal lets Members of Congress offer amendments to scrutinize and reform every government program -- for example, this would include an amendment I have offered in the past to stop the Environmental Protection Agency's costly regulatory overreach in the Chesapeake Bay.
"Our nation has a President and a Senate who are unwilling to do what really needs to be done to put our fiscal house back in order. They have made it nearly impossible to make meaningful spending reforms and are totally unwilling to address entitlement spending head-on, which represents more than two-thirds of federal spending and continues to add to our debt at an unsustainable rate. The House is prepared to take greater steps toward deficit reduction, and I will continue to work towards this goal throughout the next year. This budget deal is a responsible way to start the process."