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January 30, 2007

Cutting Waste & Funding Vets, Health Care, F-B-I Congress Makes Tough Choices on Federal Budget

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Congressman Steve Kagen M.D. and the House of Representatives take on the tough issues of federal spending as a bill to fund federal government operations comes to a vote on Wednesday.

The last Congress failed to pass a budget, so the House is forced to vote on a spending resolution of more than $463 billion to keep the government running for the rest of the fiscal year.

The resolution holds most programs at last year’s funding levels and eliminates earmarks. “This spending bill is fiscally responsible. We’re cutting spending on 60 programs below last year’s level, and using the savings to increase funding for Veterans Health Care and for the FBI’s counterterrorism programs,” says Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wednesday’s House vote is the second installment of freshman Congressman Kagen’s campaign promise to restore fiscal integrity to the federal government budget. “The first thing we did was change the rules to end runaway deficit spending. Now, we’ll freeze federal spending at last year’s level, and eliminate earmarks in the federal budget. We’re putting the fiscal house in order,” Kagen said.

The bill cuts $10 billion from 60 programs. The savings are used to:

  • Increase funding for veterans health care by $3.6 billion to provide health care for 325,000 veterans.
  • Fully fund 31,359 positions, including 12,213 agents, and 2,577 intelligence analysts, thereby doubling the number of intelligence analysts since 9/11 at the FBI.
  • Help more than 5.3 million students pay for college through an increase in the Pell Grant.

In addition, the bill provides an additional $1.2 billion to care for service members and their families – including treating troops wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Curtis Ellis
202 225-5665 (office)