Today, Senator Mike Lee introduced an amendment that would reduce total federal spending over the next nine years by one-half of one percent to offset new spending in the Sandy disaster relief bill (HR 152). The vote failed 35 - 62.
"My amendment would have cut a tiny fraction of total federal spending to pay for emergency relief for disaster victims," said Lee, a member of the Joint Economic Committee. "It is the equivalent of cutting 50 cents for every $100 Congress appropriates. Unfortunately, the Senate has again revealed it is not serious about showing even the smallest bit of fiscal discipline.
"In the coming weeks, Congress will be expected to find more than $1 trillion in cuts over the next ten years to address the sequester. The Budget Control Act requires Congress to reduce spending by $109 billion in the first year of the sequester alone, seventeen times more than what my bill would cut this year. We have tough days ahead if today we cannot find one-half of one percent to eliminate out of the federal budget.
"Paying for what you spend should be non-controversial. It should be a principle Congress follows every time we spend the taxpayer dollars of hard working Americans. Today's vote underscores the need for structural spending reforms, like a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. No Congress will restrain itself, therefore we need structural restraints in place to prevent future Congresses from driving the country further into debt."