Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15th) joined a large bipartisan group of House members to pass the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 this evening. 169 Republicans joined 163 Democrats in supporting the bill that passed 332 to 94.
The budget sets discretionary spending at $1.012 trillion for this fiscal year. The agreement provides $63 billion in sequester relief between defense and non-defense programs.
At the same time, it reduces the debt by an additional $23 billion beyond the levels set in the Sequester.
“Thursday night the House of Representatives responded to the demands of the American people. We rallied behind a reasonable agreement in a bipartisan manner and have shown a willingness to constructively govern the country,” said Congressman Dent.
Dent expressed satisfaction that the budget agreement largely eliminates the potential threat of another looming government shutdown –not only this year – but next year as well.
“People are tired of Congress staggering from one blatantly manufactured crisis to the next. They want their elected representatives to act like grown-ups and do the job they were elected to do, which is to keep the government functioning,” Dent observed. “This is important because certainty, predictability and stability are essential elements to foster an environment conducive to economic growth and job creation,” he added.
Congressman Dent also noted that the budget bill contains a three month “Doc Fix,” ensuring that Medicare patients will continue to be able to see their physicians. The measure prevents a 20.1% cut in Medicare reimbursements to physicians and replaces it with a half percent increase.
“This is not a grand bargain, but it is an important agreement,” Dent said. “I hope the bill’s passage signals that leaders in Washington have recognized the need to value practicality, commonsense and a respect for our duty to govern.”