UT - San Diego delegation votes for budget deal
Mark Walker - All five of San Diego County’s House members - Democrats Scott Peters, Susan Davis and Juan Vargas of San Diego and Republicans Darrell Issa of Vista and Duncan Hunter of Alpine - supported the two-year budget accord approved Thursday.
Peters called it the “sort of bipartisan, reasonable solution that the people of San Diego expect from Congress.”
“For the first time in four years we will replace crisis-to-crisis budgeting with a two-year plan that provides stability and predictability to agencies, basic scientific research programs, and the military,” he said. “The sequester relief and flexibility that it allows are key to keeping our economic recovery on the upward trend.”
Peters noted the deal removes the specter of another government shutdown for the next two years.
“When I ran for Congress, I promised a problem-solving approach that would replace the divisiveness and partisanship we’ve seen in D.C. during the last three years. This proposal is a step in the right direction,” he said. “The fiscal uncertainty that Washington has plagued the country with over the past few years has to stop. While I might have preferred a more comprehensive approach, this constitutes significant progress in a Congress that has long been broken.”
Hunter said it effectively prevents the lurching to crisis after crisis.
“And this provides the certainty and clarity that's been missing from the budget process for so long. Not doing what we're supposed to would only perpetuate the state of dysfunctional budgeting that's become too common," Hunter said.
Issa, the House Oversight Committee chairman, took note of a new pension contribution requirement for federal workers included in the bill that passed overwhelmingly by 332-94. The measure requires newly hired federal employees to contribute an additional 1.3 percentage points of pay toward their pension.
“Federal employees will continue to enjoy retirement benefits more generous than the vast majority of Americans," Issa said. "No current federal employee will be affected by this legislation, but new employees will be asked to contribute more to secure long-term funding of these benefits."
Issa also said that while the budget agreement does not solve the country's overall spending problems, the changes it makes to federal retirement will build over time and result in "billions and billions of dollars of real savings for the American people.”
The savings estimated by the entitlement reform will grow from $25 million in savings in 2014 to $1.2 billion in annual savings by the tenth year, according to a congressional projection. Over the second decade, it's projected to save nearly $20 billion.