Friday, October 21

Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard: Deeply Concerned with the Current Deficit

On October 4th, I wrote a letter to Colorado's Sen. Allard and Salazar asking for their comments and commitment to cutting pork. The first response to my letters came into my email box this morning from senator Wayne Allard.

Below is the full email text. In it, the senator states he is "deeply concerned with the current deficit, particularly the portion of it comprised of new discretionary spending. Every time new programs are added to the Budget a long term fiscal obligation is created." He concluded his response saying, "If we must change Senate rules, current law, or even amend the Constitution to instill fiscal discipline in this process so be it."

These are strong words, and I appreciate the Senator's willingness to make it on the record. Myself, as I am sure many other voters, now hope to see results in a leaner government that spends less.

The great problem in our nation is that there are still millions who continue to demand much from our government, and live out their lives with an entitlement mentality.

This is my call to bloggers, activists, educators and regular citizens:
Educate those in your sphere of influence about the importance of hard work, self-reliance, and small government. Until our citizens better understand the harm that big-government does to our nation's economic prosperity, they will continue to pressure government politicians and leaders for more and more pork spending. State residents should NOT send their government leadership to Washington to try to juice it of more funds. The battle starts with the voters, and finishes with a leadership that is willing to make a stand and do the right thing.
October 21, 2005

Dear Josué:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding pork barrel spending and efforts to change Senate rules to restrain this type of irresponsible behavior. This is a topic very close to my heart and I appreciate your interest in this topic.

As you may know, I am a senior member of the Senate Budget Committee. The primary focus of this committee is to establish a general fiscal outline for the coming fiscal year. I believe that the most important thing the federal government can do is maintain a balanced budget and eliminate the debt, helping to ensure that economic stability will be a legacy for our children and grandchildren. I am deeply concerned with the current deficit, particularly the portion of it comprised of new discretionary spending. Every time new programs are added to the Budget a long term fiscal obligation is created.

A significant part of each year's budget debate is the construction of new and stronger enforcement and accountability tools. The FY04 Resolution, for example, included enforceable spending caps for 2004 and 2005, limitations on non-defense emergency spending, and a re-authorization of PAYGO enforcement which restricts the creation of new mandatory spending
or tax cuts not in the budget.

The Resolution also included language requiring authorizing committees in the House and Senate to identify instances of waste, fraud and abuse in mandatory spending programs. This is significant for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that mandatory spending programs, which account for two-thirds of all federal spending, are often left to chart their own course without the scrutiny often reserved for the discretionary "pork" programs.

In addition, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), introduced S. 19, the Fiscal Responsibility for a Sound Future Act. S. 19 would amend the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act) to extend through FY 2005 the spending caps for discretionary, highway, and mass transit categories in new budget authority and outlays. This bill also declares that Congress should enact a limit on total discretionary spending for FY 2006. S. 19 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Budget.

I believe this year's budget represents a good starting point, but much remains to be done. It is my intention to work with Budget Chairman Gregg to continue to study all methods available to restrict new spending, particularly un-authorized and "pork" spending. In short, I will be open to any and all proposals that will effect greater discipline. If we must change Senate rules, current law, or even amend the Constitution to instill fiscal discipline in this process so be it.

Thank you for writing to share your concerns. I look forward to hearing from you again. If you would like more information on issues important to Colorado and the nation, please log on to my website at http://allard.senate.gov.

Sincerely,

Wayne Allard
United States Senator
Technorati tag: .