Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Rep. Brooks Supports Passage of Bipartisan Budget Agreement

Feb 10, 2018
In The News

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 -- Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Indiana, issued the following news release:

Today, the House of Representatives passed a bicameral bipartisan budget agreement to keep the government fully operational, boost defense spending, increasing disaster relief funding, support community health centers and provide funding to combat the opioid crisis.

"I am proud to support a bipartisan agreement that provides the brave and selfless men and women in our armed forces the resources they need in order to safely protect the homeland at home and abroad," said Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05). "Our troops work tirelessly on the front lines to protect and defend our freedoms and deserve our unwavering support."

"Today's landmark budget agreement delivers certainty for the future," continued Brooks. "With this bill, we are supporting our troops, working to rebuild our communities that have been devastated by natural disasters, providing two years of essential funding for our community health centers and dedicating $6 billion to combat the opioid epidemic that is devastating Hoosier communities. The over one hundred thousand Hoosier families who rely on the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can now have peace of mind because they are guaranteed continued access to the healthcare services they depend on."

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 includes a bill Brooks led to reauthorize the Special Diabetes Program, a program that facilitates research to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. The budget agreement also includes Brooks' bipartisan bill that would strengthen protections for Medicare beneficiaries who buy blood glucose testing supplies through the National Mail Order Competitive Bidding Program (CBP). Brooks is a vice-chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.

"It is critically important that Americans across the country who live with diabetes have access to proper treatments and better access to supplies that meet their needs and work best for their conditions," concluded Brooks. "The Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act and reauthorization of the Special Diabetes Program ensures that we are improving access to test strips for Medicare beneficiaries who live with the daily challenges associated with diabetes and investing the appropriate resources that will hopefully lead to the discovery of a cure for the millions of Americans living with Type 1 diabetes."

To learn more about the Protecting Access to Diabetes Supplies Act, click here (https://susanwbrooks.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/bipartisan-bill-protects-diabetic-medicare-beneficiaries-access-to).

To learn more about the Special Diabetes Program, click here (https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3924?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr3924%22%5D%7D&r=1).

BACKGROUND

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which passed the House of Representatives early this morning by a vote of 240 to 186, includes a number of critical long-term funding agreements as well as an extension of current funds to keep the government fully operational until March 23, 2018. Now, the appropriations committees have until March 23rd to work out the bipartisan details of a budget agreement.

Our agreement fully supports our troops by providing the armed forces with funds to ensure they have the equipment, tools and training necessary in order to keep our country safe. The bill increases defense funding by $80 billion this year and $85 billion the next to improve military readiness and strength. It also provides $434 million for the Department of Defense to repair facilities and replace aging equipment Critically, it provides our service members a 2.4% raise, which is their largest pay increase in eight years. Thanks to this budget agreement, our national defense will no longer be interfered with by short-term spending bills and sequester caps.

Furthermore, this legislation provides for a two-year budget agreement which ensures Congress is better prepared for future negotiations on annual spending bills. It also repeals the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created under the Affordable Care Act in order to protect senior' access to healthcare.

Our agreement increases funding for a number of critically important non-defense discretionary priorities including:

* $2 billion to the National Institutes of Health to support additional scientific research;

* $6 billion to combat the substance abuse epidemic, including enhanced state grants, public prevention programs, and law enforcement activities related to substance abuse and mental health programs;

* $84.3 billion in emergency funding to further assist hurricane cleanup efforts and wildfire relief;

* $7.8 billion to fund community health centers who serve over 86,000 Hoosiers in the Fifth District;

* Extends authorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program from six to ten years;

* Suspends the debt limit until March of 2019;

* Establishes two committees: 1) the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans, which works to improve the solvency of the multiemployer pension plan and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and 2) the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform in order to ensure there is a more efficient appropriations process in Congress;

* $4 billion to reduce the healthcare maintenance backlog at the Department of Veterans Affairs;

* $20 billion to invest in infrastructure, including programs related to rural water and wastewater, clean and safe drinking water, rural broadband, energy, innovative capital projects, and surface transportation; and

* $4 billion for student-centered programs that aid college completion and affordability, including those that help police officers, teachers and firefighters.

To read a joint statement from Indiana Representatives Jackie Walorski (IN-02) Jim Banks (IN-03), Brooks and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (IN-08), click here (https://susanwbrooks.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/joint-statement-on-bipartisan-budget-act-of-2018).