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Earlier this year, President Bush and Congress took a step in the right direction when they passed a budget that begins to restrain the runaway growth in spending. Unfortunately, yesterday the Senate passed a massive $295 billion transportation bill that breaks that budget agreement. The bill, H.R. 3, is more than $11 billion larger than the agreed upon allotment for transportation. FreedomWorks urges the President and Congress to reject this extra spending in conference.
At the same time, FreedomWorks also cheers the principled minority in the Senate who voted to deflate the transportation bill. Sixteen principled senators— including Majority Leader Bill Frist— voted for Senator Sessions’ amendment to keep the transportation bill at $284 billion and stick to the budget agreement. FreedomWorks urges these legislators to continue their commitment to limited government by voting against final passage if the bill continues to break the budget.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe made the following comments:
“First, FreedomWorks applauds the 16 principled Senators who voted to honor the budget agreement by supporting the Sessions amendment. No doubt, transportation spending is where the commitment to spending restraint is put to the test.”
“Overall, we’re disappointed that that the Senate was not able to honor the budget resolution it passed just three weeks ago. With all due respect, if Senate wants to vote to increase transportation spending, it should find real spending cuts elsewhere.”
“Having said that, the Senate bill does have some positive advantages over the House bill, which meets the budget number but includes more than 3,000 earmarks and legislative language that will allow Congress easily to come back and break the budget in the near future.”
“Congress should reject both budget-breaking provisions in conference, and pass a clean bill. If not, the President would be right to exercise his veto. If the current bloated $295 billion proposal becomes law, the hard work by done by Congress and the President in crafting a budget will be fruitless. If Congress is serious about spending discipline, any measure that does not stay within the budget resolution is simply unacceptable.”