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Congressman Cole Votes to Control Government Spending

June 25, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole voted for legislation this morning that focuses on the most fundamental budget problem: spending. The Spending Control Act of 2004 restores Budget Act spending controls with the force of law and backs them with automatic spending cuts if the controls are breached. Although this legislation did not pass in the House, Congressman Cole will continue working to eliminate wasteful government spending.

"American families have learned this lesson a long time ago. If you go over your budget you have to cut spending in other non-essential areas. It is about time the government also learned this lesson," Congressman Tom Cole said. "If the government goes over their budget, it should cut spending in other areas, not raise taxes or increase the deficit."

Since the expiration of the statutory budget controls in fiscal year 2002, Congress has had only the congressional budget process, which is not binding by law, to impose discipline in spending measures. This legislation controls spending by restoring spending caps on discretionary spending and extends pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) requirements by five years. PAYGO-for-spending requires that bills increasing entitlement spending must be offset by reductions in other spending.

"As part of the Waste Watchers group, I have been actively seeking out examples of waste, fraud and abuse in government spending. This bill enforces the need to do this by making it law," Congressman Cole said. "The government must be accountable for its spending, otherwise we will pass the burden of our national deficit to future generations." 

Consistent with the fiscal year 2005 budget resolution and Administration policy, the bill would permit spending for legitimate emergencies.