Pelosi Floor Speech in Support of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of H.R. 3877, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I thank him for his great work as the Chair of the Budget Committee. He knows better than all of us that a budget, our federal budget should be a statement of our national values and what is important to us as a nation to be reflected in that budget.
I thank you, Mr. Yarmuth, for your leadership and to your staff for bringing this legislation to the Floor.
I also want to thank Congresswoman, Chairwoman Nita Lowey, the Chair of the Appropriations Committee, and her staff for the important work that they did to help us get to the place that we are today, and that place is bipartisan legislation which reflects an agreement that is bold, bipartisan and a victory for the American people.
I think we all agree, Mr. Ranking Member, that we all want to reduce the deficit, so let us work in a bipartisan way – the national debt – let’s work in bipartisan way to do that.
And while we are at it, we may want to eliminate the vote on the lifting of the debt ceiling each year as well, because the full faith and credit of the United States of America should never, ever be in question.
This agreement was reached, and it will meet the needs of the people whom we are honored to represent: investing in middle class priorities that advance the health, financial security and well-being of the American people and enhancing our national security.
Democrats have achieved priorities that we set out from the start. Obviously, we have shared priorities and we are permanently ending the threat of sequestration. That is a very important measure. The Administration has joined us to end the devastating sequestration cuts, which threaten our investments to keep America Number One in the global economy, and again ensure our national security.
We are also limiting offsets to half of what was originally proposed, to those that were accepted in earlier bipartisan agreement.
We are taking action to avoid another government shutdown, which is so harmful to meeting the needs of the American people, honoring the work of our important men and women in our federal workforce and also the collateral damage that a shutdown does to our economy.
We are securing robust funding for crucial domestic priorities, as I said. We have always insisted on parity in increases between defense and non-defense. We are pleased that our increase in non-defense budget actually exceeds the parity number on defense by $10 billion over the next two years. And we’re pleased to be able to say that we have secured an increase of more than $100 billion in the budget cap for domestic priorities since the President took office.
Finally, we are safeguarding the full faith and credit of the United States of America by achieving a lifting of the debt limit until July 31, 2021. Perhaps, between now and then, we can work in a bipartisan way to address removing all doubt about whether the debt limit will be increased.
It’s essential – just important to note, this is not about future spending. This is about paying for what we have invested in already. It was essential that we reach agreement before the upcoming August district work period because we were informed by the Secretary of the Treasury that we might exhaust the full faith and credit during the district work period in August.
We are pleased to have done so with an agreement that meets the needs of America’s families and our national security, achieves so many of our priorities. I urge a strong vote for this bill, so we can avoid the damage of sequestration and continue to advance progress for the American people.
I urge a yes vote and yield back the balance of my time.