Release Of President’s Budget Draws Comments From Sen. Carper

WASHINGTON – In response to the release of President Barack Obama’s first budget to the Congress today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) issued the following statement:

“Now more than ever, our nation needs a return to the kind of fiscal discipline and honest accounting that President Barack Obama proposed today. Although the budget may look bleak to some, it is refreshing to see that the American people will finally get more transparency and candor in the federal budget forecast.

“President Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit, along with a serious credit and housing crisis, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and troubling unemployment rates.

“In the face of these crises, the President shows leadership in tackling our gravest budget problems, and responsible governing in preparing a FY2010 budget that tackles the mounting deficit head on.

“This budget document, coupled with the bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Summit I attended Monday, demonstrates the Obama Administration is putting words into action. I share in his determination to be vigilant in reducing waste, cutting costs and making the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of his first term.

“There are parts of this budget I agree with and others I do not, but I will learn more about the details at Finance Committee hearings starting next week.

“To help make these decisions, I recommended to the President several cost-saving measures that I have investigated as chairman of the Federal Financial Management Subcommittee of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.”

These include:
 – Closing the tax gap by recovering owed tax payments;
 – Disposing of unwanted and unused federal property that the government spends millions of dollars to maintain each year;
 – Reducing cost overruns for our major weapons systems and improving the efficiency of the Department of Defense’s weapons acquisition process; and
 – Temporarily giving the President enhanced executive rescission powers that would allow him to propose modest spending cuts to discretionary spending items.
– Finding ways to rein in the escalating costs of Medicare and Social Security.

“I pledge to work with the President, his staff and my congressional colleagues to help restore the fiscal discipline needed to reduce our deficit and put our nation back on sound financial footing. Americans all over are tightening their belts, and it’s time the government did, too.”