Budget resolution now goes to Senate floor
Washington, D.C. - After nearly two days of debate and consideration of some 26 amendments, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted with a majority of members of the Senate Budget Committee 12-10 tonight to approve the FY 2005 Budget Resolution, a package designed to cut the federal deficit in half by 2007. The resolution will be considered on the Senate floor all of next week with up to 50 hours of debate.The Budget Resolution provides Congress with a blueprint on taxes and spending as legislative decisions are made throughout the year. The Senate Appropriations Committee then works from that blueprint as it appropriates to specific programs within the parameters specified by the Budget. â??This budget takes several steps towards reducing federal budget deficits that have reached unacceptable levels,â?? Crapo said. â??Spending restraint, rather than tax increases, is the way to reduce the debt, and this budget reflects that fact. It limits non-defense, non-homeland security spending, maintains budget enforcement tools critical to protecting against unbudgeted spending, and cracks down on waste and fraud in government programs. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to stay within Budget parameters as they consider this legislation in the coming weeks.â?? As passed by the Budget Committee, the Budget Resolution cuts the deficit in half by 2006 as a percentage of GDP and by 2007 in nominal terms. It caps most discretionary spending accounts, holding non-defense, non-homeland security, and non-entitlement spending to slightly under .5 percent. It includes spending increases for selected priority projects including veteransâ?? benefits, education, and a reserve fund for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.â??Congress has gotten into the bad habit of allowing federal programs to grow larger and larger each year,â?? Crapo added. â??Our top priority must be to make the tough choices that will put us on a path to eliminating the deficit. For many programs, this will mean receiving the same amount of funding they received last year. For others, it may mean that people will have to take a close look at their program and find the efficiencies that are there to be found, in order to continue operating with reduced funding. Some of these choices will certainly be difficult, but this sacrifice must be shared. We must make the sacrifices now to put our nationâ??s books back in order and ensure that we are not placing the burden on future generations to pay for programs people are demanding today."# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. If you encounter any difficulties with the system, please contact Susan Wheeler at the above number. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at www.senate.gov/src/radio/crapo.