Says Republicans have offered a “long-overdue starting point” to bring $18 trillion federal debt under control, supports amendments on Tennessee and national priorities
Posted on March 27, 2015
“We still have more work to do – governing is about setting priorities, and the federal debt is not the result of overspending on the military, highways or cancer research. We need to protect these priorities and pass a plan like the Fiscal Sustainability Act Sen. Corker and I introduced last Congress to slow the growth of entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.”– Lamar Alexander
WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today made the following statement after voting for the Senate budget resolution:
“I voted for the Senate budget resolution because it is a long-overdue starting point to bring the federal government’s $18 trillion debt under control. Senate Republicans have put forth a budget that balances in 10 years without raising taxes, and that takes some initial steps at slowing the growth of out-of-control mandatory entitlement spending.”
Alexander continued, “We still have more work to do – governing is about setting priorities, and the federal debt is not the result of overspending on the military, highways or cancer research. We need to protect these priorities and pass a plan like the Fiscal Sustainability Act Sen. Corker and I introduced last Congress to slow the growth of entitlement spending by nearly $1 trillion over 10 years.”
Alexander noted that mandatory spending – which includes out-of-control entitlement spending that is driving the growth in the federal debt – made up about 60 percent of overall federal spending in 2014. Discretionary spending – the part of the budget that is already subject to spending caps under the Budget Control Act – made up about 34 percent of federal spending in 2014 and funds national defense, national labs, national parks and other federal priorities.
In addition to voting for the Senate budget resolution, Alexander cast several key votes and introduced or cosponsored amendments on Tennessee and national priorities. During the Senate debate, Alexander:
• Voted against President Obama’s budget proposal. “I voted against the president’s proposed budget because it never balances,” Alexander said.
• Voted for and cosponsored an amendment with Sen. Thune to support repealing the federal estate tax, also known as the death tax. “Nobody should be put into the position of having to sell the family farm or small business they’ve just inherited in order to pay the IRS a tax that’s only owed because someone passed away. Tennessee repealed its estate tax in 2012, and we need to transfer some of that common sense to Washington.”
• Cosponsored an amendment to allow states to be reimbursed for reopening national parks during the 2013 federal government shutdown. “The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of America’s greatest treasures, and it was forced to be shut down during its prime tourist season when the park welcomes the most visitors and the surrounding businesses make most of their money. Congress should help relieve the pain caused in these areas and their surrounding communities and ensure Tennessee taxpayers won’t have to pay the price for keeping them open.”
• Cosponsored an amendment to allow for the repeal of the wind production tax credit. Alexander said, “We need to stop picking winners and losers in the marketplace and instead let our free enterprise system provide the abundance of cheap, clean, reliable energy we need to power our 21st-century economy. That’s why I introduced an amendment to the budget along with Sen. Jeff Flake that would allow the repeal of the wasteful wind production tax credit. Over the past 22 years, the wind production tax credit has received billions of dollars of subsidies, and yet wind energy still produces only 4 percent of our electricity from windmills that work only about 30 percent of the time.”
• Introduced an amendment to support the reauthorization of America COMPETES legislation, which increases basic science research for economic competiveness. Alexander said, “America COMPETES has helped our country make major strides in maintaining our brainpower advantage and keep our good-paying jobs from going overseas. This amendment will support the reauthorization of America COMPETES by putting us back on a path to doubling the basic science research that helps fuel innovation in our free enterprise system.”
• Cosponsored an amendment to protect Second Amendment rights and stop the Obama administration’s proposed regulation of antique ivory.
• Introduced an amendment to support research into exascale supercomputing.
• Cosponsored an amendment that promotes the release of children who have been legally adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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