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Pelosi Sends Letter to Sec. Mnuchin Insisting Budget Caps Agreement Recognize Need for Additional Funding for Veterans

July 14, 2019

San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin today emphasizing the need for a budget caps agreement based on parity and that recognizes the need for additional funding to address the costs of the VA MISSION Act.

The Speaker and the Secretary also spoke by phone this evening at 6:10 pm E.T. for 12 minutes, prior to the Speaker sending her letter, and the two agreed to speak again on Monday.

“We all agree on the need to address the debt limit, but we also must reach an agreement on spending priorities based upon the principle of parity as soon as possible,” Speaker Pelosi wrote. “It is essential to understand that past agreement on parity between defense and non-defense spending did not take into account the additional and growing cost of implementing the VA MISSION Act’s programs.”

Below is the full text of the letter to the Treasury Secretary:

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July 13, 2019

The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin

Secretary

United States Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20200

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Thank you for your continued communication as we work toward common ground on the debt limit and the budget caps.

We all agree on the need to address the debt limit, but we also must reach an agreement on spending priorities based upon the principle of parity as soon as possible

It is essential to understand that past agreements on parity between defense and nondefense spending did not take into account the additional and growing cost of implementing the VA MISSION Act’s programs.

The two-year budget agreement we are working to achieve should provide equal increases in the defense base and the non-defense base over the next two fiscal years, but it also must provide $9 billion in additional funds for the VA MISSION Act in fiscal 2020 and $13 billion in additional funds in 2021.

I look forward to resuming our conversations soon.

best regards,

NANCY PELOSI

Speaker of the House