Final Budget Resolution Includes Essential Funding For Amtrak, Defense, Child Health Care
May 17 2007
A congressional budget resolution calling for a balanced budget in five years passed the U.S. Senate late Thursday with the support of Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.).
"This is fiscally responsible legislation that includes vital support for our troops, healthcare for more low-income children, and expanded rail transportation, all important to our state of Delaware," Sen. Carper said. "This budget resolution also puts Congress back under a pay-as-you-go rule, so tax cuts or spending increases must be offset with savings from other parts of the federal budget. I have long advocated a return to pay-as-you-go policy, because if a program is worth doing, it's something worth paying for too."
Sen. Carper said this final budget resolution fully funds the core defense budget and American troops as requested by the President, providing $503.8 billion in discretionary funding for defense for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2008.
And, it provides $1.8 billion for Amtrak, the total funding amount Sen. Carper fought many years to attain.
"Passenger rail, particularly the Northeast Corridor, remains essential for economic growth and mobility," Sen. Carper said. "Funding to expand our nation's rail services is critical to address traffic congestion, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and help reduce our nation's overall dependence on foreign oil."
The legislation provides $50 billion nationwide to expand SCHIP to provide health coverage to an additional six million, low-income children nationwide. Other key elements include $9.5 billion in funding above the president's budget for education, and $3.6 billion above the president's budget for veteran's programs, including veteran's health care.
A bipartisan amendment Sen. Carper co-sponsored earlier this year remains in the legislation, and commits Congress to use the savings from a crack down on wasteful improper payments to reduce the federal budget deficit.
"I have held hearings and will continue to work here in Washington to reduce careless squandering of taxpayer resources by eliminating more avoidable federal payments errors," Sen. Carper said.