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Appointment of Conferees on S. 1932, Deficit Reduction Act of 2005

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Location: Washington, DC


APPOINTMENT OF CONFEREES ON S. 1932, DEFICIT REDUCTION ACT OF 2005 -- (House of Representatives - December 16, 2005)

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, let us talk about the fact that that same CBO report did say that child support payments will increase, yes, increase.

Mr. Speaker, what are we doing with child support payments? What we are simply saying is that we have a Federal Government match. What the Federal Government match is spending on child support with State governments is 50 percent for food stamps, for Medicaid, that is what we are proposing here.

When we passed welfare reform, we increased the match for child support to 66 percent. What happened: child support collections went way up; welfare case loads way down. Yet we still have a higher match than normal even though our case loads are way down. What we are simply trying to do is reform government to save money and still meet the needs of the people.

What about Medicare. This motion to instruct says let us gut the Medicare Advantage Program. What is the Medicare Advantage Program? Do you ever hear that line when you do a town hall meeting with senior citizens that say we on Medicare ought to get the same health care you in Congress get? That is the Medicare Advantage Program. We are simply saying to seniors, if you want to have comprehensive health insurance like we have in Congress, like other Federal employees have, you should get that.

What does this motion to instruct do? It compromises that entire program.

Mr. Speaker, what about all these issues? Food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, child support, all of that spending is increasing in this bill. What does this budget do? This budget proposes to increase spending over 6.3 percent but not 6.4 percent, the current projection.

Let me say it another way. We are proposing to save $45 billion out of a $15 trillion budget over the next 5 years. We are proposing to increase spending 6.3 percent instead of 6.4 percent, and that sounds like a draconian cut.

I have also heard speakers say that we are proposing deep tax cuts. Mr. Speaker, here is their definition of deep tax cuts: we are not raising taxes. What we are proposing to do in this budget is to not raise taxes. We are proposing simply to keep taxes where we are today. When we had a recession 2 years ago, when the Dot-com bubble burst, people lost their savings when the market went down. We lost hundreds of thousands of jobs; we had 2 years of economic growth no higher than 1.3 percent, and we cut taxes.

What happened after we cut taxes, 4.5 million jobs were created. The stock market came back. Our stock market savings portfolios, our savings for seniors grew 23 percent. We are averaging 148,000 new jobs being created every month. We created 215,000 just last month alone. Our economy grew 4.3 percent last quarter alone. We raise taxes; we hurt jobs. It is a difference in philosophy.

The Democrats are saying raise taxes and do not do anything to control spending. We do not want to raise taxes; we want to control spending and balance the budget.

Mr. SPRATT. Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Levin) 1 minute.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. Speaker, we are not talking about raising taxes. You are dodging the issue.

This is not the formula for Medicaid or other programs; this is a formula in terms of the Federal share for child support. I would like any of you to stand up and deny the estimate of CBO that what you are doing will reduce the amount collected in child support by $24 billion over the next 10 years.

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. LEVIN. I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin.

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Does the CBO report also not say that child support payments will go up from one year to the next?

Mr. LEVIN. It will go up. Sure, they are going to go up because there are more kids from families of divorce. But I ask you, does CBO not say because of your change, $24 billion over the next 10 years will not be collected for the children? Yes or no?

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. The gentleman just answered my question, child support payments will go up.

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