U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today voted for legislation that cuts discretionary spending compared to last year's levels and keeps the government operating through September 2012. Additionally, he supported a second bill that enables the Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist with flood and other natural disaster recovery.
"Most people would agree that Washington spends too much money and rarely stops to think about how to pay the bill," Johanns said. "Just like Nebraska families who responsibly prioritize their spending, Congress must make tough choices like reducing annual discretionary spending. Much more needs to be done to get our debt under control, but setting priorities and adhering to budget constraints -- like this bill does -- is a step in the right direction."
The second bill provides disaster funding to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to repair levees in Nebraska and elsewhere along the Missouri River damaged in the flooding. The Senator voted to ensure this disaster funding didn't add to the debt, but unfortunately the legislation offsetting the cost of the relief did not pass.
The omnibus appropriations legislation combines the remaining nine spending bills that Congress failed to pass over the last year and cuts spending to the levels required by this summer's Budget Control Act. Combined with the three spending bills already signed into law, total discretionary spending was cut approximately $31 billion from fiscal year 2011 and $95 billion from fiscal year 2010 levels.
The legislation funding disaster relief passed the Senate by a vote of 72-27 and the omnibus appropriations legislation passed by a vote of 67-32.