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Thursday, October 29, 2015
BIPARTISAN BUDGET BILL: OVERDUE REFORMS
I supported the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 that passed by a wide margin of 266 to 167. This bill included responsible spending, needed funding for our military, overdue reforms to mandatory spending programs with savings, and also suspends the debt limit until March 15, 2017. Many of these reforms were ones I have long called for. Although I would have preferred legislation to go through the Committee process, the opportunity to advance cost saving reforms was great.
This bill sets new spending levels for Fiscal year 2016 and 2017 raising spending caps by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017. It makes significant reforms and achieves savings in mandatory spending programs and includes no tax increases. The bill provides a 2 year plan for spending that the Congressional Budget Office has documented will cut the deficit over years 2016 to 2020.
Additionally, this bill recognizes the hardships the men and women of our military has been placed in at a time when the world is an increasingly dangerous place. This funding legislation is one that our military needs and ISIS will hate! While preventing a default on our national debt, the Bi-Partisan Budget Act of 2015 provides funding increases for military programs and the certainty of a two year budget. As an Army dad, I know up close and personal that our American heroes deserve our best support.
A provision of Obamacare was also eliminated. The employer auto-enrollment mandate was repealed as part of the bill. This eliminated the law’s auto-enrollment mandate that forces workers to automatically enroll into employer-sponsored health care coverage that they may not want or need.
Additionally, significant reforms were included in reining in abuses in the Social Security Disability Income program. This closes loopholes, increases work incentives, stops fraud by increasing criminal penalties and prevents sanctioned healthcare providers from referring into the program.
Finally, this legislation included an increase to discretionary funding the next two years. You have my commitment that I will do my best to assure these investments are made in strategically critical areas. It is time to reprioritize our discretionary spending. One of my priorities is to see robust funding for Career and Technical Education. CTE training leads to jobs, and there is no social program more effective than a good-paying job!
Thank you and God Bless,
Glenn 'GT' Thompson
For media information, contact : Media@GTThompson.com