Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Senate's Fiscal Watch Team Gets It

Seven Senators call for $115 billion in spending cuts:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today praised a proposal by the Senate's Fiscal Watch Team to cut non-essential spending by as much as $115 billion to offset the cost of hurricane recovery along the Gulf Coast. Senators John Ensign (R-Nev.), Sam Brownback (R-Kans.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and John Sununu (R-N.H.) unveiled the plan at a press conference today.

"Taxpayers from around the country are demanding that spending be cut to pay for hurricane relief and recovery," CAGW President Tom Schatz said. "The senators' proposal is a wake-up call to legislators who believe the federal government is running at peak efficiency."

The plan has five major elements: A 5 percent reduction in discretionary spending not related to defense or homeland security; a two-year delay of the implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit; requiring upper-income seniors to begin paying higher Medicare Part B premiums in 2006; a temporary freeze on cost-of-living salary adjustments for all federal civilian employees; and rescission of some pork projects in the recently-passed six-year highway bill. Total savings from the plan could reach $70 billion to $115 billion over the next two years.

CAGW made its own suggestions for budget cuts in Prime Cuts 2005, which catalogues 600 recommendations throughout the government that if enacted could save taxpayers $232 billion in fiscal 2006 and $2 trillion over the next five years.

"With money for horse trails, museums, and bridges to nowhere, the highway bill is the most obvious target for cutting wasteful and egregious projects. The federal government must learn to live within its means and not overburden taxpayers or future generations. A 5 percent across-the-board cut is a reasonable step in that direction," Schatz added.
CAGW Praises Proposed Budget Cuts in Senate


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