Ryan Says He’s Voting for Massive Budget Bill to Lift the Cap on Defense Spending

By Susan Jones | February 8, 2018 | 12:22 PM EST

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) (Photo: Speaker.gov)

(CNSNews.com) - "Our government has no higher responsibility than to support our men and women who are in harm's way," House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told a news conference on Thursday.

"For months now we have been working to get our military the resources it needs to keep the peace. This budget agreement delivers on that commitment."

Ryan said the military mission is hard enough, and the job has become "exponentially harder" because of the "staggering readiness crisis that it is facing."


He mentioned that 80 service members died in 2017 in accidents and training incidents, nearly four times more than were lost in combat.

Joining Ryan were several other Republicans, who also focused on the billions of dollars for defense in the bipartisan budget compromise announced on Wednesday.

The agreement worked out by Sens. Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer ends the sequester caps, not only on military spending, but also on discretionary domestic spending.

The Defense Department will get an additional $80 billion this year and $85 billion next year, while domestic discretionary spending will increase by $63 billion this year and $68 billion next year.

That's a total spending increase of $296 billion over two years, plus some extras thrown in for disaster relief ($90 billion) and other projects, including infrastructure ($20 billion).

Ryan noted that some of the funding is a one-shot deal.

But either way, the agreement will significantly increase budget deficits in the years to come, a thought that appalls many conservatives.

Nevertheless, Ryan said he will vote for the budget compromise, "because we don't want to see the sequester hit the military."

Now, having said all that, there are some other good things in here.

This is a bipartisan bill.  Just like Leader Schumer said, you get some things you like, you give the other side things they like.

That's what bipartisan compromise is about, and on the net, I think this is a very good solution.

And as to the debt and deficit concerns, most of this domestic spending...is one time spending. It's hurricane relief, I mean, what, we're not going to rebuild Houston, we’re not going to rebuild Florida, we're not going to help Puerto Rico or the fires in California? Those are things that we need to do because our fellow citizens in these disaster ravaged areas need assistance, and that is a proper role for the federal government.

Ryan said there is other domestic spending in the compromise that "we all agree on," including money for the opioid epidemic and cancer research. We all know we want to work on infrastructure,” he added.

On another topic, Ryan said he knows there is a real commitment to solving DACA issue. "To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill -- do not," he said.

Ryan said he will bring up a bill – one that President Trump will sign --  but only after the budget bill is passed.

But Democrats don't like Trump's "four pillars" proposal. They want legal status for dreamers in exchange for a border wall, leaving the issues of chain migration and the diversity visa lottery alone for now.

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