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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pence Predicts 06 Progress on Federal Spending Restraint, Budget Reform in Congress

Tim Chapman has a great interview up at Townhall.com's Capitol Report blog with Rep. Mike Pence, R-IN, who is chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus in the U.S. House ofRepresentatives.

Pence thinks the best thing the GOP majority in Congress now can do for the future of the country is to change the way the federal budget is determined each year:

"I think the most important thing Congress can do in 2006 would be to change the way we spend the people's money and enact the first budget process reform legislation since 1974. The truth is that the rules enshrined in Congress today in the Budget Act make it very hard to cut taxes and very easy to cut spending.
"The Congress of the United States should reverse that: Make it very easy for future Congresses to cut taxes and very hard to increase spending beyond the rate of inflation.
"If we do that, then however long the Republican majority survives we will leave a lasting imprint for fiscal discipline on our nation's capital and on the federal government."

The Indiana congressman is carefully optimistic that significant progress will made this year in Congress in getting federal spending under control:

"We are cautiously optimistic that Congress will pass the first Deficit Reduction Reconciliation Act since 1997. And we also are hopeful that as Congress completes its work on one of the tightest years of spending restraint in recent memory, that we'll also achieve an across-the-board cut in this year's budget.
"I say that with the cautious optimism of someone who will know better by the time your readers are considering these remarks. I’m at least impressed at this point that Republican leaders in the House and Senate have dedicated themselves, along with President Bush, to putting our fiscal house in order."

Pence addresses many more issues in the interview with Chapman and it is well worth reading.