Thune disputes Dem claimSenator’s office says he has acted to solve fiscal crisis.
By: Denise Ross, The Daily Republic
In a story published Friday in The Daily Republic, South Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Ben Nesselhuf complained that Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., hasn’t taken direct action to cut the nation’s deficit despite lots of talk about too much spending.
Thune’s office points out a bill Thune introduced twice — most recently in 2011 — that would have overhauled the budget process on Capitol Hill. Democratic leaders in the Senate did not schedule the bill for a hearing, and it expired after the 2012 election. Thune is still considering whether to re-introduce the bill for the 113th Congress.
Nesselhuf said he stands by his statement that Thune hasn’t introduced deficit-cutting legislation.
“This might improve the process, but it doesn’t cut spending,” Nesselhuf said.
When he introduced the bill in 2011, Thune said it would result in lower spending.
“The federal government’s budgeting process is broken and continues to contribute to our nation’s record debt and deficits,” said Thune. “If American families and small businesses operated their budgets as irresponsibly as Washington does, they would go bankrupt.”
Thune’s bill included the following provisions:
• Line-item veto for the president that would also require up-or-down votes by Congress.
• Biennial budget timeline that would allow Congress more time to debate spending and budget priorities.
• Binding budget process that would impose tighter controls on spending.
• Provisions making it more difficult to approve emergency spending, designed to prevent abuse.
• PAYGO rules to prevent the double-counting of new revenues or reduced spending.
• Creation of a permanent, joint committee focused on spending cuts.
• Binding spending caps for non-defense, non-veteran, non-homeland security discretionary spending until 2021. Spending caps are set at 2008 levels, adjusted for inflation.