U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today cosponsored the Stop Over-Spending (S.O.S.) Act of 2006, comprehensive legislation to rein in spending, reduce the deficit, and gain control of the federal budget process.
“Washington is filled with forces that encourage spending. This legislation would create new forces to restrain spending,” Alexander said. “It would give the President the line- item veto most governors have, establish real budget caps and create a new commission to evaluate and eliminate duplicative federal programs. Congress also needs a two-year budgeting process, so that every other year we can devote most of our time to oversight and ending programs instead of always creating and extending programs.”
The Stop Over-Spending Act, sponsored by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), contains the following provisions:
--Line-Item Veto – Creates a line-item veto tool that allows the President to target wasteful spending, ask that it be rescinded, and send it up to Congress for expedited consideration;
--Biennial Budget – Establishes a two-year budget cycle with the first year devoted to adopting a two-year budget resolution and the appropriations and the second year used for authorizing and oversight;
--Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies (CARFA) – Creates a BRAC-like commission to evaluate federal programs and report to Congress which programs should be realigned or eliminated;
--Automatic Deficit Reduction Mechanism – Creates a mechanism to balance the budget by 2012 by setting budget caps and automatically slows the rate of growth for mandatory spending if Congress fails to meet deficit reduction targets;
--Statutory Caps on Discretionary Spending – Caps the amount of discretionary spending each year, and;
--Medicare Trigger – If Medicare goes beyond 45 percent of the general fund in any two consecutive years over the next seven years, a budget point of order will be raised against any new entitlement spending.