Carper: Senate Bill Begins To Reduce Deficits, While Providing Tax Cuts To Working Families
Apr 03 2009
WASHINGTON – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) voted late last night for the Fiscal Year 2010 Senate Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 13) – a roadmap to guide federal spending for the next five years.
The Fiscal Year 2010 budget sets the federal government’s spending levels for all agencies and federal programs over the next fiscal year, while allocating nearly $825 billion in tax relief to the middle class over the next five years.
In order to the lay the ground work for the President’s plan to kick start the economy and bring relief to millions of Americans, the Senate-passed budget establishes deficit-neutral reserve funds—placeholders that account for future bills that Congress expects to take up—that will address climate change, healthcare reform and the expansion of financial aid opportunities for higher education.
The blueprint also directs spending and tax changes over the next five years in order to help cut the annual budget deficit in half by the end of fiscal year 2012 and by two-thirds by fiscal year 2014.
Sen. Carper spoke during the Senate budget debate this week, stressing the severity of our budget problems and the urgency of passing a budget that establishes significant deficit reduction goals.
“When President Bush took office, our country enjoyed billion dollar surpluses and was set to pay down part of our $6 trillion national debt. Those surpluses are now long gone, and President Obama has inherited eight years of record budget deficits that have nearly doubled the national debt,” said Sen. Carper.
“Deficit reduction matters for everyone. Left unchecked, these deficits will drive up interest rates for consumers, increase the cost of goods and services and weaken our financial competiveness around the world. This budget resolution takes the first steps toward reducing this burden.”
The enactment of this budget and its deficit reduction goal comes on the heels of a Congressional Budget Office announcement that this years’ budget deficit could reach more than $1.8 trillion as a result of the credit crisis and the spending measures proposed under the previous administration.
Prior to the markup of the resolution in the Senate Budget Committee last week, Sen. Carper and 15 moderate senators wrote to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad urging the committee to consider spending cuts, tax changes and an overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid in order to close deficits and restore fiscal discipline.
Consequently, the Senate passed a budget last night that was $135 billion less than the President’s proposal, and still provided for spending increases in education, infrastructure and healthcare. The budget included a cost-savings amendment by Sen. Carper that would pave the way for the government to recover improper payments made by federal agencies, which last year alone amounted to more than $72 billion.
“This Senate budget makes a number of tough choices to put our country on the path toward fiscal responsibility and prevent our children from bearing the cost of burgeoning deficits,” said Sen. Carper.
“If we are serious about deficit reduction, we must make sure that we stretch every tax dollar the government collects and do not waste one penny. As chairman of the Senate’s Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security Subcommittee, I will continue to identify more and better ways we can cut wasteful federal spending and enhance government efficiency.”