The Federal Budget: Wicker, Cochran Approve Plan Passed by Senate, Cochran: It’s Not Perfect

WASHINGTON, D.C.–The federal government can start putting together a budget that could balance in ten years. Both senators from Mississippi voted yes on a plan that passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday, 51-48.

Sen. Thad Cochran, chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said what the Senate passed was a budget resolution conference report that will provide a blueprint for the development of FY2016 appropriations bills.

Sen. Roger Wicker, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, helped iron out some of the differences with the House version of the plan. He also wrote some provisions in what finally passed:

 

  • Requiring CBO to perform long-term estimates of the budgetary effects of major spending legislation;
  • Supporting research to identify the cause of Alzheimer’s, develop therapies to delay its onset or halt the progression of the disease, and ultimately find a cure; and
  • Expediting the award process under the IRS Whistleblower Award program for those who come forward with information on tax evasion.

“This balanced budget plan fulfills the promise we made to the American people last year,” Wicker said. “We vowed to deliver a budget that expands economic growth, increases opportunities for hard-working families, and caps federal spending without raising taxes. It also puts us on a path to protect our national defense capabilities and military personnel from drastic sequestration cuts, which would return in October if Congress fails to act. This is a significant and substantive achievement,” said Wicker.

 

The president could veto the bill.

“After years without the Senate and House agreeing on a federal budget, I’m pleased that committees will have the guidance provided by this budget resolution.  This is not a perfect plan, but it is much more responsible than the big-spending budget proposed by President Obama.  It addresses Obamacare’s failed policies and recognizes that we must act to control the federal debt and rein in the reach of the federal government,” said Cochran.

“I expect the Senate Appropriations Committee to write 12 appropriations bills that conform to the spending guidelines in this resolution.  This will be a challenge, but one that we fully intend to meet by producing responsible, thoughtful bills to meet our commitments to our national security and the American people,” he said.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the budget would increase America’s economic growth by more than $400 billion over the next decade.  In Mississippi, that could mean more than 10,000 new jobs.

The House passed the budget last week by a vote of 226-197.