Obama Signs Budget Deal

President Obama on Monday signed the bipartisan budget deal that provides $80 billion of sequester relief and gives the Pentagon the ability to plan for the next two years. “We no longer have to worry about fighting for (2016) and worrying about (2017),” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work said Monday at the Defense One summit in Washington. Now the department “can get on with our lives,” he said. Defense officials have repeatedly complained that budget uncertainty has made planning impossible; Defense Secretary Ash Carter in late October had called for Congress to come together for a multi-year budget deal. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the budget package moves America forward. “At long last, we have broken the sequester’s stranglehold on our national defense,” she said in a written statement. The deal was passed by the House on Oct. 28 and by the Senate around 3 a.m. on Oct. 30, despite filibuster threats and a speech by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.). (White House budget deal fact sheet)