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June 22, 2004
This week, you will be given the opportunity to vote on amendments to H.R. 3973, the Spending Control Act of 2004. While we agree that H.R. 3973 represents a good start for budget enforcement, the bill can be improved by adding some teeth that will really help control spending. On behalf of the millions of taxpayers represented by the undersigned organizations, we urge you to vote the amendments listed below that would improve the enforcement measures of H.R. 3973.
H.R. 3800, the Family Budget Protection Act, contains many provisions we believe are necessary to put real some muscle into budget enforcement and should be made part of H.R. 3973 for final passage. With the deficit at $470 billion, it is time for the House of Representatives to demonstrate that it is serious about cutting and controlling spending. Amendments which would provide the following budget enforcement tools should be supported:
• Joint Budget Resolution (Ryan/Gutknecht): Convert the concurrent budget resolution into a joint budget resolution that is signed into law by the President;
• Entitlement Cap (Hensarling): Limit growth in entitlement spending to the current inflationary adjustment for each program and population growth;
• Family Budget Protection Accounts (Ryan-Wis.): Allow Congress to target spending during the appropriations and direct spending processes and allow that spending to be redirected for deficit reduction; and,
• Enhanced Rescission (Ryan-Wis.): The rescission process would be enhanced so the President can propose the elimination of wasteful spending in appropriations bills and these proposals would be given expedited legislative consideration.
• Substitute H.R. 3800: A comprehensive budget reform bill, which has more than 100 cosponsors, will be offered as a substitute for H.R. 3973.
Supporting budget reform is not new. Many of you have taken the lead in this fight before by supporting past reforms. For example, H.R. 1889 in the 102nd Congress, H.R. 853 in the 106th Congress and H.R. 3925 in this Congress contain many of the above measures.
By voting for any amendments that would implement the above enforcement tools, you will help demonstrate who in Congress is serious about providing the taxpayers with greater accountability for the money they send to Washington – and who is not.
Please be assured that any votes on budget enforcement will be among those our respective groups will consider in their 2004 Congressional Ratings.
Richard Lessner, Executive Director
American Conservative Union
Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform
Matt Kibbe, CEO and President
Citizens for a Sound Economy
Thomas Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government
John Berthoud, President
National Taxpayers Union