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Kind Emphasizes Wisconsin Values and Priorities in Budget Battle

Location: Washington, DC

Kind Emphasizes Wisconsin Values and Priorities in Budget Battle
March 9, 2005

Kind amendments seek fiscal control, Social Security solvency, troop support, and fulfilled promise to nation's veterans

Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), a member of the U.S. House Budget Committee, emphasized the need for government to let Wisconsin values and priorities guide this year's budget process, and he intends to offer a series of amendments to the President's 2006 federal budget when the committee considers the budget proposal today. Kind's amendments outline important priorities absent from the President's budget, including Social Security Trust Fund protections, adequate benefits for U.S. troops, and fulfilled promises to veterans' healthcare. Kind will also offer a budget saving amendment that allows prescription drug price negotiation.

"The people of Wisconsin deserve a federal budget that reflects the same fiscal responsibility that a hard working Wisconsinite would apply in crafting a personal budget," said Rep. Kind. "This year, we have a chance to produce an honest and responsible budget that contains key priorities and outlines opportunities for savings. Furthermore, I remain concerned about our nation's growing budget deficits, and unless we take corrective action to address them today, we will end up leaving a legacy of debt for our children and grandchildren to inherit."

Rep. Kind will offer the following amendments during today's U.S. House Budget Committee consideration of the President's 2006 budget proposal:

1. Protecting Social Security Surplus from Deficit-Financed Tax Cuts and Spending -Protects the Social Security Trust Fund from new tax cuts or direct spending that would reduce the Social Security surplus or result in additional borrowing.

2. Negotiation of Lower Medicare Drug Prices - Creates a reserve fund for the savings that would result from allowing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare.

3. Support for Troops and Veterans- Adds up to $1.1 billion in benefits to the troops and their families for Service members' Group Life Insurance/Death Gratuity, recruitment and retention bonuses, targeted pay raises for senior enlisted personnel, family support centers, particularly for Guard and Reserve units, and Community Based Health Care Organizations (CBHCO). Increases health care funding $1.9 billion above the President's level. The amendment is offset by the elimination of the deferral of taxation on profits accruing to foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations.

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