Dear Editor,

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I am pleased that Congress and the Administration were able to reach a budget agreement recently. It will eliminate the Budget Control Act’s threat of sequestration for the final two years of that law’s effect, providing clarity in federal budgeting and crucial predictability for agencies, federal workers, and all who rely on the government. By providing parity in funding authority increases between defense and all domestic programs, it helps to appropriately balance our country’s priorities. Additionally, this deal preserves the faith in and the credit of the United States by taking the imminent threat of a default on our national debt default off the table for two years.

This agreement is far from perfect and does not include everything I wanted to see in a deal. But with divided government between the legislative and executive branches, as well as between the House and Senate, it is an important step forward. It is also far better than the alternatives of sequestration cuts to funding, increases in the likelihood of a government shutdown, and what would be a first-ever U.S. sovereign debt default.

It is now imperative that Congress turns its focus to completing the appropriations process for fiscal year 2020 to prevent another government shutdown. As I have long insisted, we must also craft and implement a long view budgetary approach that ensures proper support for all the federal programs and priorities our country needs, while ensuring that we are collecting the revenues that are necessary to sustainably pay for them.

U.S. Representative Adam Smith
(D-Bellevue)

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