U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly Friday helped the Senate pass a bipartisan deal that would allow for necessary investments in a number of priority areas, including military readiness, fighting opioid abuse, and reauthorizing Community Health Centers.
Donnelly said, “For too long, Congress has chosen to kick the can down the road with short-term funding bills without providing any long-term budget certainty. I supported this bipartisan, two-year budget deal because it would allow military and national security leaders to plan for the future, while also making significant investments in infrastructure, community health centers, and in the fight against the opioid epidemic.”
Background on the bipartisan deal:
- Would set spending levels for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2019.
- Would keep the federal government open through March 23 while specific details are worked out on a longer-term funding package.
- Would allow for significant investments in military readiness that the Department of Defense has been asking for, and which have been hampered by repeated short term funding measures.
- Would allow for $6 billion over two years toward programs combatting the opioid abuse epidemic. Donnelly has repeatedly pushed for a more robust federal response to this public health emergency.
- Would reauthorize the Community Health Center Fund for two years and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for ten years, an increase following last month’s agreement for a 6-year extension. Donnelly has repeatedly called for reauthorization of Community Health Center Fund, which expiredSeptember 30. Donnelly has long supported the CHIP program and last month welcomed its reauthorization.
- Would invest in infrastructure, including surface transportation, rural water and waste water, rural broadband, and energy infrastructure.
- Would create a Joint Select Committee tasked with solving the multiemployer pension crisis, which Donnelly has been outspoken about solving.