Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., addressed his colleagues today about the downfalls of the Democrat Budget Resolution that taxes too much, spends too much and borrows too much.
“This budget creates more debt than all past debts combined starting with George Washington. This is not a number to be proud of. In the first 100 days of President Obama’s leadership the U.S. government has spent $12 billion a day. We are on a road that is leading us off a cliff. Unchecked spending needs to stop and this budget only allows for more spending,” said Enzi, member of the Senate Budget Committee. “The budget resolution doesn’t confront any of the tough financial priority choices that face our country. As I have said repeatedly - we cannot sustain the current level of spending without inflicting grave damage on the fiscal health of our country.”
The Senate passed the $3.6 trillion budget resolution conference report by a vote of 53-43 today. Enzi voted against the bill. The House passed the bill today by a vote of 233-193.
Enzi said the budget not only spends too much it invokes a procedural tool called budget reconciliation to be used to bypass a full and fair legislative process on upcoming health care and higher education bills.
“You can’t say you’re going to work in a bipartisan way, then turn around and insert a procedural tactic to jam something through the Senate with no input from Republicans. Reconciliation is intended for meaningful deficit reduction or budgetary issues, not for a bill with as many moving parts that affect as many people as education and health care reform. Reconciliation is a slippery slope that ties the hands of the minority party,” said Enzi. “Health care reform is too big of an issue to advance with procedural shortcuts. There never has been a bill with as many moving parts that affect as many people. To get a workable solution it will require the effort of everybody in the Senate. If we can’t come up with a plan that can garner the support of at least 75 or 80 senators, this institution will not have the confidence of the American people and the plan will fail.”
The budget resolution also includes reconciliation language to allow a government takeover of student lending. Language in the bill directs the Department of Education to offer all loans directly to students, essentially uprooting private lenders.
“The majority of University of Wyoming students who borrow money, nearly 80 percent, take advantage of local lending programs, not federal Pell grants. It doesn’t make much sense to take away local and private options to pay for college and replace them with one government run program. A government takeover of student lending not only hurts students, it is not feasible because the government doesn’t have the manpower or the dedication to customer service,” said Enzi.
The budget serves as a blueprint for broad categories of spending. Decisions on specific discretionary spending programs will be made by both the Senate and House Appropriation Committees.