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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4241, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005--Continued

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Location: Washington, DC


PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4241, DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT OF 2005--Continued -- (House of Representatives - November 17, 2005)

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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, Federal spending is just too high and basically it is in danger of spiraling out of complete control. But American families are really better off if they are able to keep more of their money to decide to spend it as they see their needs fit. But only when excesses and unnecessary spending are identified and eliminated will that happen. And that is really the responsibility of both sides of the aisle.

The bill before us began with $34 billion in savings. We have another $15 billion roughly in savings on top of it. This will not fix our mandatory spending problems right away, but it is a first step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, opponents on the other side of the aisle have been spreading lies about it when they say there are cuts in the Medicaid funding program. In fact, the reform program includes a 7 percent increase in spending for Medicaid. Programs like Medicaid simply cannot sustain themselves without any reform. No one can argue that Medicaid is a completely 100 percent efficient program. Reforms are necessary to protect the program and protect the services that are provided to the people who receive them. Right now, around 53 million Americans receive the benefits of this program. It is a State-Federal partnership. And unless reform is done now, we will see that program become disabled and cripple the States and eventually lead to bankruptcy.

One area we see this is in prescription drugs. Time and time again, the Federal Government overpays for prescription drug benefits. And unless reform is made in this program, we will see that program crash as well.

The other side has lied with regard to student loans as well. There are no cuts in the student loan program under this budget reform plan. That is another lie of the other side of the aisle. As the number of college students increases, the student loan program will grow as well. Under this bill, student financial aid will continue to increase as the number of kids in colleges increase. Financial aid actually goes up through increases in loan limits and reductions in origination fees.

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