Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Congressional briefing: In the Congressional Record, a budget battle among Kansans

April 3, 2007

Another slow news day, another time to take a look into the Congressional Record, to find out what our representatives are saying in Washington.

Rep. Dennis Moore took time to defend the Democrats plans for the federal budget: "Because of the previous majority's lack of fiscal discipline, our gross national debt now stands at over $8.8 trillion. They talk about tax cuts, and they are just not providing accurate information at all. It is not true information. They say that our budget proposes tax increases, which simply is not true. They wrote the tax cuts back in 2001 that were implemented in 2001, and they were to last for 10 years, and they still will be going until 2010. The Democrats are not doing a thing in their budget to raise taxes, not one single thing, to the contrary of what our friends across the aisle are saying. In fact, our friends across the aisle have added $3 trillion of debt to our country, to our children and grandchildren. That is the way you paid for the tax cuts, was by adding $3 trillion of debt."

His Republican colleague from Kansas, Rep. Todd Tiahrt disagreed. "Instead of recognizing this truism, the Democrat budget will impose the largest tax increase in American history. The tax relief Americans have been enjoying would cease to exist under this legislation. The Marriage Penalty Relief would be eliminated and 23 million taxpayers would see their taxes increase by an average of $466 in 2011. As we continue on down the list of tax hikes, 31 million taxpayers would be affected by the Child Tax Credit being cut in half. Their taxes would increase by an average of $859 in 2011. These tax increases are not for a greater good of reducing the deficit but to allow Democrats the freedom to spend more and expand the government. My colleagues seem to be living up to their moniker 'Tax and Spend' Democrats."

Other tidbidts from the Congressional Record:

  • Rep. Nancy Boyda last week discussed her trip to Fort Riley, taken with four other members of the House Armed Services Committee: "For transition teams at Fort Riley, the war begins months before they leave American soil. Their war will continue through twelve months of hazardous, exhausting deployment in Iraq. And even when they return home, their war will continue still. Many will bear the scars of the Iraq war--both physical and mental--for a lifetime."
  • Rep. Jerry Moran was also active. Last week he made the case for the "Wounded Warrior Assistance Act": "I represent a district, a congressional district the size of the State of Illinois, and yet, although we have more hospitals, private community hospitals than any congressional district in the country, there is no VA Hospital. There is no military hospital. And so you can be distanced from that access to care by hours, by 3, 4, 5 and 6 hours.

"Legislation that I have introduced would try diligently to address that issue, to allow access to the private sector health care providers. If you live further away from a VA Hospital or an outpatient clinic, that you can take your VA card, you can take your active military benefits and see your hometown physician.

"This legislation would correct that by allowing, in those circumstances where distances are so great, that the VA can enter into contracts with the private sector to meet the needs of those veterans and that a physician, a private physician, could fill a prescription."

Later this week, we'll check in with the Senate.

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