TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP APPLAUDS BALANCED BUDGET AGREEMENT

For Immediate Release    Contact:  Jim Campi
May 19, 1997 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) announced today its support for the balanced budget agreement.  The agreement, which is expected to be approved by the House and Senate this week, balances the budget in five years through cuts in spending and taxes.

            “The debate over whether the budget should be balanced is finally over,” said CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “The principles CCAGW and its members have championed for the past decade have been recognized and validated with a historic balanced budget deal that for the first time cuts spending and taxes.  The struggle now is over the details.”

            The broad budget framework negotiated by congressional leaders and the White House calls for $600 to $700 billion in entitlement savings over 10 years, preserving Medicare and allowing seniors more choice in health care.  In addition, the agreement provides $135 billion in tax relief over five years, including:  a $500 per child tax credit, estate tax relief, capital gains tax relief, and expanded individual retirement accounts.   The plan also cuts domestic discretionary spending by $64 billion below inflation-adjusted figures over five years.

            CCAGW’s leading role in implementing the balanced budget deal was highlighted today in remarks by House Appropriations Chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.).  Livingston noted, “It is my full intention to continue my Committee’s successful efforts to terminate wasteful or duplicative programs, cut spending, and scale back the size and scope of government.”  CCAGW intends to continue providing members of Congress with specific cuts to ensure that wasteful spending is the top priority in balancing the budget. 

            While endorsing the Budget Committee’s fiscal year 1998 resolution, CCAGW opposes the substitute budget resolution being offered by House Transportation Chairman Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), which would add money to the transportation budget by cutting a percentage of each discretionary program.  “Rep. Shuster’s transparent attempt to bribe fellow members with a few morsels of  pork at the expense of other important programs must be defeated,” said Schatz.

            CCAGW will consider the votes on the budget resolution for its 1997 Congressional Ratings.  Each year, CCAGW rates members of Congress on votes that could have significantly reduced or eliminated government waste.

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government. 

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Jim Campi at (202) 467-5300.

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