OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

Congressman Gary Miller’s Weekly Newsletter

Posted by Newsletter Reprint on February 3, 2012

February 3, 2012

House Votes to Repeal Unworkable CLASS Act

On Wednesday, the House voted to repeal the CLASS Act, the long-term entitlement program included in the President’s health care law. Late last year, the Obama Administration was forced to cancel the program’s implementation because it could not certify that the program would be fiscally sustainable in the long term, confirming concerns raised by the Chief Actuary for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid shortly after the health care law was enacted. While some have argued that repeal is unnecessary, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has indicated that if left in place, a federal court could force the Secretary of Health and Human Services to implement the CLASS Act, despite these serious concerns about its future solvency. Congressman Miller hopes that the Senate will act quickly to take this unworkable program off the books and work with the House to address access to quality, long term care without busting the deficit and hindering job creation and economic growth.

Budget Reforms Promoting Fiscal Responsibility Passes House

This week, the House took action to reform our government’s budgetary process and put an end to current practices that allow spending to rise unchecked. Currently, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assumes automatic increases for inflation in non-mandatory spending when determining the baseline budget. According to the House Budget Committee, last year’s CBO baseline added approximately $1.4 trillion in projected spending over ten years due to growth in spending assumed in the baseline. This week, the House passedouthouse p legislation to remove this automatic inflation adjustment. In addition, the House considered and passed a measure to require CBO to provide Congress with an analysis of how major legislation will impact our economy. This will give lawmakers the information they need to see how major bills will affect several economic factors, including gross domestic product, business investment, and employment. Congressman Miller will continue to work to fix our broken budget process and promote pro-growth policies that will strengthen our economy and help create more jobs for American workers.

 

Highway Reauthorization Introduced in House

This week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a five-year surface transportation bill that will create jobs, improve America’s infrastructure, and spur domestic energy production. Congressman Miller was pleased that the bill includes several policies he has championed to remove unnecessary barriers to highway and transit projects that will create jobs, improve our nation’s infrastructure, and maximize scarce federal resources. Specifically, the measure makes permanent and expands to all states a pilot program that currently allows five states to take on the responsibility of ensuring that highway projects comply with federal environmental standards. In California, the program has shaved approximately 30 months off of overall project delivery, without compromising environmental protections. To prevent the federal government from dragging its feet on moving forward on crucial highway improvements, the reauthorization bill also establishes prompt deadlines for making project approval decisions. In addition, the bill includes a provision that the Congressman worked hard to include that would set a strict deadline for environmental reviews of highway projects to be completed. As the highway bill makes its way to the House floor, Congressman Miller will keepworking to address California’s transportation and infrastructure needs.

 

CBO Reports Trillion Dollar Deficit for Fourth Straight Year

This week, the CBO released its annual budget outlook. For the fourth straight year in a row, the non-partisan agency projects the federal government will run a budget deficit in excess of $1 trillion. Meanwhile, despite the Administration’s claims that the 2010 health care overhaul would curb federal health care spending, the CBO found that it will actually double over the next decade. By 2022, the federal government will spend $1.8 trillion on health care, representing 7.3% of our economy. In another disturbing finding the report projects that unemployment will climb to 8.8 percent this year, and rise above 9 percent in 2013. While millions of Americans continue to make painful cuts in their household budgets in order to make ends meet, our government continues to spend more than we can afford. To help restore economic certainty among our nation’s job creators and establish an economic environment conducive to job creation, Congressman Miller will continue fighting in Congress to eliminate wasteful spending and get our nation’s fiscal house back in order.

 

The Capitol Connection Newsletter is published at the end of every week in which Congress is in session. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please send an email to CapitolConnectionNewsletter@mail.house.gov or call (202) 225-3201.

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