Murkowski Votes for Federal Spending Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today supported a plan by fellow Republican members of the Senate Appropriations Committee that would have taken a first step towards significantly reducing federal spending in the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2010.

The Republican proposal sought to slow the growth of federal spending by slashing $20 billion from President Obama’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2011, essentially freezing discretionary spending at last year’s levels. Democratic appropriators, however, rejected that plan and instead passed a more modest cut of $14 billion below the president’s proposed budget.

Appropriators today had to take the unusual step of approving an FY 2011 top-line budget number because the Democratic majority failed to approve a spending blueprint for the next fiscal year.

“I suspect the reason why the other party didn’t pass a budget this year is that they don’t want the American people to realize just how big the deficit is,” Murkowski said. “Next year’s deficit is going to be in the range of $1.4 trillion. It took all the presidents combined before President Obama 232 years to build up $5.8 trillion in debt. President Obama will double that number in only five years and triple it in 10 years. Congress must get serious about reining in out-of-control spending, and a good place to start is with next year’s federal budget.”

The committee also approved three appropriations bills – for homeland security, VA/military construction and agriculture funding – on a party-line vote, with all of the Republican members voting in opposition.

“These are extraordinary measures, but the Republican members of the Appropriations Committee want to make it clear that we are willing to make tough choices,” Murkowski said.

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