Pelosi calls for spending parity in budget agreement

Pelosi calls for spending parity in budget agreement
© Aaron Schwartz

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiAre Democrats turning Trump-like? Pelosi hits Trump, Netanyahu for 'weakness' amid tensions over Omar and Tlaib In Hong Kong, the need for peaceful persistence MORE (D-Calif.) is calling for parity between Pentagon spending and non-defense programs in any budget agreement with the White House, according to a letter released by her office.

In the letter to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTrump phoned bank CEOs as stock market plunged Wednesday: report The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Trump pressured Mnuchin on labeling China a currency manipulator: report MORE following a Saturday telephone conversation, Pelosi outlined provisions she said must be included in any two-year budget agreement.

“We all agree on the need to address the debt limit, but we also must reach an agreement on spending priorities based upon the principle of parity as soon as possible,” she wrote.

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“It is essential to understand that past agreement on parity between defense and non-defense spending did not take into account the additional and growing cost of implementing the VA MISSION Act’s programs,” she added.

The VA Mission Act aims to reform Veterans Administration services, including expanding caregiver assistance and veterans’ access to private care as well as providing greater incentives for health care professionals, Reuters noted.

Pelosi told Mnuchin that earlier spending-parity agreements did not properly account for the increasing costs of implementing the bill, according to the news service.

Pelosi is set to speak with Mnuchin again on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

Mnuchin has taken the lead in talks with Pelosi amid ongoing friction between House leadership and other White House officials.

On Friday, he warned that the U.S. could hit its debt limit in early September without an agreement to raise it before Congress’ August recess.