Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, later today the trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will release their annual report which will give us an idea of the current and projected financial health of these programs.
We do not know exactly what they will say, but we know the news will not be good. Everyone knows these programs are unsustainable under current conditions, and the problem is only getting worse.
Unfortunately, it is a problem the Democrats' budget does not address. Despite repeated calls from our side of the aisle, entitlement spending has been overlooked for far too long, and now it is completely--completely--out of control.
This is a fiscal crisis of the first order, and it is a crisis that cannot wait any longer to be addressed. Nearly 7 out of $10 the Federal Government spends every year goes directly to mandatory spending on programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the interest on the national debt. Soon enough, Social Security, Medicare, and other entitlements will consume about twice the percentage of the Federal budget they did four decades ago. If we do not get control over this spending soon, we will only have a fraction left for vital priorities such as defense, health care, transportation, and other job creators.
We must address the issue of entitlement spending now before it is too late. As I have said many times before, the best way to address the crisis is the Conrad-Gregg proposal, which would provide an expedited pathway for fixing these profound long-term challenges. This plan would force us to get debt and spending under control. It deserves support from both sides of the aisle.
The administration has expressed a desire to take up entitlement reform, and given the debt that its budget would run up, the need for reform has never been greater. So I urge the administration, once again, to support the Conrad-Gregg proposal. This proposal is our best hope for addressing the out-of-control spending and debt levels that are threatening our Nation's fiscal future. More than 800,000 Kentuckians receive Social Security benefits, and we need to make sure the program remains solvent not only for them but for their children and their grandchildren.
Today's report will underscore the urgent need for action, and Republicans stand ready to work with Democrats and the administration to meet that challenge.