Dr. Coburn, Fiscal Watch Team Unveil Plan to Pay for Katrina Spending
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and six senate colleagues today unveiled their proposal to offset government spending on relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The senators announced their proposed government spending cuts during a Capitol Hill press conference this afternoon.
"Congress is learning what the American people already know - charity requires sacrifice. Congress can help those in need in the Gulf Coast without putting the bill on a credit card the next generation will have to pay back. Among the American people there is a growing rumble about our unsustainable fiscal course. I believe this package will help quiet that rumble and build a bridge to fiscal sanity and responsibility," Dr. Coburn said.
Dr. Coburn, joined by Senators Sam Brownback, Jim DeMint, John Ensign, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and John Sununu, proposed the following actions to offset hurricane relief spending:
A freeze on cost-of-living adjustments for federal employees, including members of Congress, with the exception of law enforcement and military personnel.
A two-year delay in implementation of the Medicare prescription drug benefit except for low-income seniors who would receive $1,200 in assistance with their drug discount cards.
A requirement that those with higher incomes pay higher Medicare Part B premiums in 2006, rather than in 2007 as currently scheduled.
Eliminate $24 billion in special project spending in the recently passed highway bill.
A cut of 5% to all federal spending programs except those which impact national security, with 1% set aside for funding of essential programs.
The package of offsets proposed today could save the American taxpayers nearly $130 billion over two years.