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Press Release

Letter to Congress: Consider Budget Amendments

June 4, 2004

The Honorable David Dreier
House Rules Committee
H-312 The Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Dreier,

It is our understanding the Rules Committee may not allow any amendments to H.R. 3973, the Budget Committee’s enforcement legislation. On behalf of the millions of taxpayers represented by the undersigned organizations, we urge you to allow amendments that would improve the enforcement measures of H.R. 3973.

H.R. 3800, the Family Budget Protection Act, contains many measures we believe are necessary to put real teeth into budget enforcement. The House of Representatives must
demonstrate that it is serious about cutting and controlling spending. At a minimum, we would like your committee to allow amendments that provide the following:

• Joint Budget Resolution: Convert the concurrent budget resolution into a joint budget resolution that is signed into law by the President;

• Point of Order Protection: Amend the rules of the House so that any rule waiving applicable spending points of order would also face a point of order;

• Entitlement Cap: Limit growth in entitlement spending to the current inflationary adjustment for each program and population growth;

• Family Budget Protection Accounts: 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: 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.

It is disturbing, but not surprising that recent polls have shown that a majority of Americans believe that Democrats, both in Congress and as president, would do a better job of
holding down spending. We are sure that the recent results of the special elections in Kentucky and South Dakota concern you. The American people are not happy with the status quo. Strong and bold action is necessary to change the dynamics and prove that this Congress is serious about
controlling spending. That will require more than just pay-go in budget enforcement legislation.

By allowing the above amendments to be considered, you will help demonstrate who in Congress is serious about providing the taxpayers with greater accountability for the money they
send to Washington. Republicans won and maintained the majority by being principled and disciplined, as well as taking tough votes on controversial legislation. Now is not the time to lose that will to lead.


Richard Lessner, Executive Director
American Conservative Union

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Matt Kibbe, President and CEO
Citizens for a Sound Economy

Thomas Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government

John Berthoud, President
National Taxpayers Union