U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on MilCon/VA Appropriations Act of 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the Senate failed to advance H.R.2029, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016:

“As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I fought to include provisions in this legislation that would improve transparency of VA Office of Inspector General reports, strengthen protections for whistleblowers, and provide stronger oversight of the VA’s prescribing practices. These are significant reforms that take a serious step in the right direction to ensure we address underlying challenges at VA.

“However, I have serious concerns that this appropriations bill does nothing to roll back the devastating cuts we’ve seen due to arbitrary budget caps that lack balance.  Congress should work together on a bipartisan budget agreement to address these misguided cuts and this legislation should include a level of funding that addresses the healthcare gaps and massive backlog affecting the VA today, as part of an overall budget agreement.

“Senate Democrats have been calling for bipartisan budget negotiations for months but Senate Republicans have refused to come to the table.  It’s no wonder that the American people are angry with Washington when Congressional Republicans continue to play political games and threaten government shutdowns instead of working together on a bipartisan budget that creates an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few.

“The hard working people of Wisconsin get up every day and do their job and they deserve to have Congress doing its job working together on a budget that addresses not just military security - but also homeland security, health security, and economic security for America’s middle class.”