Posted on December 17, 2013
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement on Senate consideration of the budget agreement passed by the House of Representatives by a vote of 332-94:
“I will vote against the budget agreement because it avoids the federal government’s most urgent need: reducing the growth of runaway entitlement spending. Instead, it spends savings that should be used to strengthen Medicare, pensions, and the air transportation system.
“It would have been better to pay for this agreement with a small part of the $1 trillion in entitlement savings that Sen. Corker and I have identified in our ‘Fiscal Sustainability Act,’ or with entitlement savings suggested in the president’s budget.
“Although I can’t support it, I appreciate the efforts of Rep. Ryan and Sen. Murray to bring certainty to the budget process, which is why I voted earlier today to allow a Senate vote on their agreement, which had passed the House with two-to-one Republican support.”
In February, Senators Alexander and Corker introduced the “Fiscal Sustainability Act,” S. 11, to reduce the growth of entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) by nearly $1 trillion in the next decade in order to improve the programs’ solvency. The bill incorporates many of the recommendations made by President Obama’s Debt Commission (Simpson-Bowles) as well as by former Republican Senator Pete Domenici and Alice Rivlin, budget director for former President Clinton.
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