Jun 15 2006

Graham Supports Structural Budget Changes to Restrain Federal Spending

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has signed on in support of the Stop Over-Spending Act of 2006. The legislation, introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-NH), seeks to make structural changes to how Washington spends taxpayer dollars. “This legislation will place long overdue spending restraints on the Congress,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “We need to be more efficient in how we spend taxpayer dollars. This bill empowers people in Congress who want to control spending and reduce the size of government. It is the worst nightmare of those who want to continue to waste taxpayer dollars.” Among the major provisions of the legislation:
  • Creation of a line-item veto tool that allows a President to target wasteful spending, ask that it be rescinded, and send it up to Congress for expedited consideration.
  • Creation of a new and improved Gramm-Rudman-Hollings mechanism to balance the budget by 2012. It includes procedures to automatically slow the rate of growth for mandatory programs if Congress fails to meet deficit reduction targets.
  • Reinstatement of statutory caps on discretionary spending – and new tools to prevent the use of all-too-convenient ‘emergency’ spending -- enforceable by an across the board sequester if Congress fails to adhere to the caps.
  • Creation of a budgetary point of order against new mandatory if the Medicare program is projected to become insolvent in 7 years or less. Due to skyrocketing health care costs and an aging population, Medicare is projected to be the first of the large entitlement programs to become insolvent.
  • Creation of two new bi-partisan commissions: one to study the accountability and efficiency of government programs (in a manner similar to the BRAC Commission), and the other to examine and provide solutions to the impending entitlement crisis.
“Two-thirds of the federal budget is on autopilot as either interest on the national debt or mandatory spending,” said Graham. “Unfortunately, political malpractice is afoot when it comes to entitlements as many Senators don’t want to address the ticking time bomb. “I enthusiastically support budget reform which will bring about real change and bring about something that has been lost -- fiscal discipline,” said Graham. “I thank Chairman Gregg for his strong leadership and his willingness to push forward with a comprehensive reform bill. I look forward to working with my colleagues to restore responsibility to the budget process.” ####