Congressman Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee, released the following the budget agreement passed the House of Representatives:

“This budget deal, while not perfect, is a small step forward. It provides two years of relief from sequestration for the Department of Defense as well as other vitally important portions of the discretionary budget, such as education, technology, housing, transportation and Head Start.  Sequestration has been wreaking havoc on these critical programs, and this deal provides some relief.

“The deal also provides some space for Congress to begin to function normally again.  It will help to avert political standoffs that threaten to shut the government down and it will offer some much-needed support for our government and economy.  I am hopeful that greater certainty will allow us to focus on what is important for the American people, such as policies that support the middle class and grow our economy.

“Today’s budget deal marks a beginning, not an end.  There is much more work to be done. Our debt and deficit are still unsustainable in the long-term, and we desperately need forward thinking policies that continue to address our budget issues in a comprehensive way that raises revenue and reduces spending.  I thank Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan for working in a bipartisan way, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to find long-term solutions that reflect our priorities of making a stronger middle class and expanding economic opportunity.”