The taxpayer-funded tab for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is about to get even bigger. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, taxpayers may be on the hook for another $73 to $215 billion to pay for the companies' losses.
Taxpayers already doled out more than $148 billion to these government-sponsored entities. You may recall that, during the House-Senate negotiations on financial regulatory reform, my Republican colleagues and I offered amendments to reform Fannie and Freddie and end their government subsidies. Unfortunately, our amendments were simply deemed "out of order' by Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) and denied an up-or-down vote, and today, the tab continues to grow.
Cutting: Our Only Option
The President's own economic advisors are recommending that the government begin making spending cuts. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee and is one of 18 members on the President's fiscal commission, was quoted this week saying, "This government is going to have to be smaller there is no option." I whole-heartedly concur. The full commission will offer its budget-cutting recommendations in December.
No Silver Bullet
There's certainly no silver bullet that will instantly erase our $13.6 trillion debt, and solve our country's financial woes. But there are plenty of good places to start. Constituents in the 13th District often ask me for specific spending cut ideas. Here are some ways that I've been fighting to cut spending:
* Voted against the health care package estimated to increase health spending by $311 billion
* Adopted a moratorium on all earmarks
* Voted against the $792 stimulus bill, and support canceling unspent stimulus funds, saving up to $266 billion
* Voted against Crop Subsidies in the Farm Bill, which would save $284 billion over 10 years
* Voted for more than $155 billion in spending cuts proposed through YouCut
Regardless of how you look at the numbers, we need to change the tax-and-spend culture in Washington, stop handing out double-digit budget increases to government bureaucracies, and end the bailouts.
Caring for our Veterans
We received great news for area veterans this week. The VA and Silver Cross are closer to a finalized contract to convert the Emergency Room at Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet into a VA outpatient mega-clinic. When local American Legion Commanders Jim Canup and Mike Meyers came to me in July of 2008 with the idea for the VA health facility, it was immediately clear that we had a special and rare opportunity. Since then, I have worked with the VA, Silver Cross Hospital, local veterans, and a group of bipartisan elected officials to ensure that negotiations proceed smoothly. This will be a tremendous asset to our community and to the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms we enjoy.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in Washington. Do not hesitate to contact me at (630) 655-2052 if I can be of further assistance.
Member of Congress