Hoeven Statement on the 2016 Budget Passed by the U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the 2016 budget:

“The measure we approved today is a responsible plan that balances the nation’s budget in 10 years without raising taxes. By contrast, President Obama’s budget increases taxes by $1.8 trillion, and never balances at any point in the future. The Obama budget increases the deficit to more than $800 billion by 2025, and adds $6 trillion to the nation’s debt. We simply must balance our budget and reduce the nation’s debt, so that we do not burden our children and future generations.

“The 2016 Senate budget also strengthens our military in the face of challenges at home and abroad, and gives our men and women in uniform the support they need to defend our country. We owe them and their families a tremendous debt of gratitude for all they do.

“Importantly for North Dakota, this budget provides strong support for our farmers and ranchers, recognizing the budget savings in the farm bill passed last year. Finally, the Senate budget preserves Social Security and extends the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund to protect our seniors.

“The budget we passed tonight holds the line on spending and strikes a balance on funding national priorities, like defense and Social Security. It protects Americans from new tax hikes, reduces the debt, supports stronger economic growth and enhances energy security.”

The following amendments offered by Senator Hoeven were included in the 2016 Senate Budget:

  • Nuclear Force Improvement Program: To support the nation’s nuclear triad, the Senate approved Hoeven’s Nuclear Force Improvement Program (NFIP) amendment. This amendment ensures that the budget supports the Air Force’s NFIP, including providing special pay rates and making improvements to nuclear mission-related equipment and facilities. Hoeven worked with Air Force officials to start the NFIP in 2014 and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide funding in Fiscal Year 2015 for the program.
  • Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile: This amendment builds on the senator’s work to support the development of a nuclear-capable cruise missile, including programs at the Defense Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration.  It provides support in the budget for the development of a new nuclear-capable cruise missile, including a new missile and a refurbished warhead. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to include $9.4 million in Fiscal Year 2015 to begin developing an updated warhead for a new nuclear cruise missile, which is the primary nuclear weapon carried on the B-52.
  • Veterans Access to Community Care Act: Many veterans in rural states like North Dakota live far from a full-service medical facility. This measure, introduced by Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and cosponsored by Hoeven, allows veterans to access health care services in their local community if they live more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility that can provide the care a veteran requires. Hoeven is also sponsoring the Veterans Access to Extended Care Act, separate bipartisan legislation that would allow veterans greater access to long term care (LTC) services in their home communities near loved ones and friends.
  • FBI-DEA Colocation Amendment: To help law enforcement work more effectively together and reduce costs in fighting crime in western North Dakota, this measure supports the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) colocating in a shared facility. For example, colocating in Williston can foster a more coordinated approach to law enforcement by bringing all of the federal resources of the FBI and DEA to bear on the effort to fight crime in the region. The amendment also provides local law enforcement in western North Dakota the opportunity to enter into joint crime fighting task forces. Earlier this month, Hoeven announced the establishment of a new FBI Resident Agency office, which will soon break ground in Williston.
  • Small Business Development Centers: This amendment would support aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses by providing technical assistance through the reauthorization of Small Business Development Centers. Small businesses are an essential part of growing our economy. As of 2010, small businesses employed 62 percent of the private sector labor force in North Dakota.  Small Business Development Centers are an important part of helping entrepreneurs and business owners access the resources they need to grow and thrive.