At a time when nearly every family in Missouri is forced to cut back due to the state of the economy, Congress has continued to spend without showing a willingness to restrain its own finances.
It has to change - and we're close. Earlier this year, I wrote to let you know about an amendment I offered with a Republican colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, which would cap increases in discretionary spending and the growth of the federal government. Similar statutory spending caps put in place during the 1990s helped Congress reach a balanced budget; unfortunately, the caps were not renewed in 2002 when Republicans had control of Congress.
In the spring, the amendment fell just one vote short of passing in a close and encouraging bipartisan vote. Now, Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee have said that they will not support any Fiscal Year 2011 spending bills that exceed the spending caps proposed by the Sessions-McCaskill amendment. I hope this support from my friends on the other side of the aisle will lead to more of my Democratic colleagues joining me and the 17 other members of the Senate majority in this bipartisan effort to enact spending caps.
Discretionary spending only makes up about a third of the federal budget, so this amendment alone won't solve our fiscal problems. But it would be a huge step forward. Congress must curb spending to avoid putting future generations in peril. I'll keep fighting alongside Senator Sessions and the bipartisan supporters of our amendment to make sure it happens.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
McCaskill: We must cap increases in discretionary spending
In her latest newsletter, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., returns to the subject of a cap on discretionary spending: