FILE PHOTO: House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi speaks to the media during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, Washington, USA on June 27, 201
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi said Saturday that a two-year budget agreement with the Trump administration would increase defense and non-defense spending and additional funding for a health care improvement program for military veterans must contain.
"We all agree on the need to tackle the debt ceiling, but we need to reach an agreement on spending priorities based on the principle of parity as soon as possible," the House top democrat told US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a letter from July 13th.
Pelosis office said it had published the letter after she and Mnuchin talked on the phone for 12 minutes on Saturday night.
"The biennial budget agreement we are working on should increase the defense base and non-defense base equally over the next two fiscal years," the spokesman said in the letter.
"But it also needs to provide additional funding of $ 9 billion for the VA MISSION Act in the 2020 fiscal year and additional $ 13 billion in 2021," she wrote.
The VA Missions Act, which Congress approved with the support of both parties, seeks to revise the health services provided by veteran administration by allowing veterans to maintain private care, expand nursing support and incentives for relatives to create health professionals and make other changes.
Pelosi informed Mnuchin that earlier agreements on parity between defense and non-defense spending did not take into account the growing cost of implementing the program.
Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Andrea Ricci