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House passes the Bipartisan Budget Act

Washington, February 9, 2018
House passes the Bipartisan Budget Act
The bill will now be sent to the President's desk

WASHINGTON- The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Budget Act by a vote of 240 to 186. The agreement sets the level of discretionary spending for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

"This budget agreement begins to rebuild our military, which is one of the most important priorities of the federal government. They have been held hostage to other issues for too long," Thornberry said. "The negative effects on our troops and their families from budget uncertainty is deep and lasting. This budget deal finally does what we knew needed to be done by funding the military at the level authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act, which was signed by the President in December."

What the Bipartisan Budget Act does:

  • Reverses the damaging defense sequester and increases total defense funding to matchFiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act levels;
  • Reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for ten years;
  • Extends funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (community health centers) by two years;
  • Improves Medicare and rural health care by repealing the payment cap for therapy services, averting Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts, and extending the Medicare-Dependent and Low-Volume hospital programs;
  • Extends home health rural add-on payments and ground ambulance add-on payments;
  • Makes seed cotton eligible for the farm safety net;
  • Eliminates the caps on crop insurance policies for livestock producers;
  • Improves the Margin Protection Program for dairy producers;
  • Provides tax extenders for 2017; and
  • Includes spending for disasters caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and California wildfires.
Thornberry also said, "This two-year budget agreement makes sure that our country has what it needs to take care of our military, veterans, areas affected by disasters, and daily needs that are important to Americans."