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Johnson Offers Amendments to Protect Taxpayers

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Ron Johnson (WI) announced that he will offer three amendments to the fiscal year 2014 budget resolution being considered by the Senate today. These amendments are being cosponsored by a number of colleagues.

Saving Social Security and Medicare: This amendment requires any budget resolution brought up in the Senate to provide for the solvency of these critical programs for at least 75 years. Johnson said "Congress and the President need to work together on a bipartisan plan to save Social Security and Medicare. This amendment requires them to do so."

Balanced Budget by 2022: This measure provides that any budget resolution considered in the Senate must be balanced after the year 2022. Johnson commented "Until Washington begins to institute fiscal responsibility, we will not see the self-sustaining private sector job creation that American workers deserve, and which is the best way to grow federal revenues." Senator Cornyn added "We must set effective limits on spending and taxes, and require a balanced budget. Families across Texas have to balance their checkbooks and live within their means, and there is no reason their government should operate any differently." Senator Johanns stated, "Nebraskans have a very practical and straightforward approach to spending: If you don't have the money, you don't spend it. Not having a balanced budget does nothing except add debt to the shoulders of our children and grandchildren, who are already up to their eyeballs in debt because of the levels of federal spending." Senator Barrasso said Democrats in Washington talk regularly about a "balanced approach" to deficit reduction -- but they've made no effort to balance the budget. The budget resolution we're debating right now raises taxes by $1.5 trillion. Despite this massive influx of revenue, their budget never achieves balance. Wyoming families don't live like that and neither should Washington. This long overdue amendment will help us balance the budget and stop Washington from burying future generations in debt." This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Barrasso (WY) Cornyn (TX), Johanns (NE), and Kirk (IL).

Preventing state bailouts: This Johnson amendment codifies the stated policy of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke against bailing out failing state and local governments. Johnson stated, "Taxpayers have already paid for enough bailouts. This is particularly important to folks in Wisconsin, whose state government has been extremely responsible with regard to spending." Senator Hatch added, "The federal government shouldn't be in the business of bailing out failing municipalities. Working families have been forced to do more with less, and the federal government, states, and municipalities should be no different." "The federal government has already put taxpayers at serious risk in recent years by unilaterally propping up failing banks and other financial entities, and by no means should the federal government be in the business of bailing out state and local governments that can't manage their own budgets responsibly. People in Louisiana shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes of states like California or Illinois," Senator Vitter said. "This amendment will make sure that taxpayers are protected from any such attempts." This amendment is cosponsored by Senators Hatch (UT), Kirk (IL), and Vitter (LA).

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