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U.S. National Debt:

Budget Committee Approves Deficit-Reduction Legislation

Senate Budget Committee sends reconciliation package to Senate floor

Washington, DC â??A budget bill that trims government spending, cuts the deficit, and creates efficiency within federal programs while addressing the needs of Katrina victims was approved today by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and fellow members on the Senate Budget Committee. The Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act is slated to save more than $39 billion over five years and will reduce federal spending to meet the goal of cutting the deficit by half, which is already down by more than $90 billion since last year. â??The federal government must curb spending now or our children and grandchildren will be left to pay our bills, leaving them to be faced with economic instability,â?? Crapo said. â??It is imperative that we act now. With the money that will be needed for reconstruction in the Gulf region, funding needed for our troops to fight the war on terrorism, and our other obligations to the American people, it is critical to take action now and curb government spendingâ??that is what this budget does.â??The budget reconciliation package, which meets and confirms spending limits agreed to by the Senate in the 2006 Budget Resolution earlier this year, will now go to the full Senate for further consideration. The budget reconciliation process allows Congress to show fiscal restraint on mandatory spending, which currently accounts for 59 percent of all federal spending. Programs classified as mandatory spending programs are not subject to the annual appropriations process, and are thus on autopilot. It is for this reason that the reconciliation process was created, so that Congress does have a tool to target out of control spending.