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Restoring Fiscal Accountability

The budget conference report builds on the efforts of the Democratic-led Congress over the last two years to restore fiscal accountability.

CUTTING THE DEFICIT

  • The budget conference report slashes the deficit by nearly two-thirds in four years (by 2013) and even further by 2014, to 3.0% of GDP.
  • Reforming health care is one of the best ways to reduce the deficit - with reduced health care costs, affordable coverage and improved health reducing the strain on businesses, families, and federal and state budgets.

PAY-AS-YOU-GO BUDGET DISCIPLINE

  • The first thing the Democratic-led Congress did in January 2007 was reimpose PAYGO budget rules in the House rules that Republicans had let lapse.
  • The budget conference report also reaffirms our commitment to statutory PAYGO.
  • Like the President's budget, the budget conference report calls for health care reform, job creation in clean energy and energy efficiency, and college affordability to be completely deficit-neutral.

CUTTING WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE, AND OBSOLESCENCE

  • In a key step, on February 19, the House Democratic Leadership directed Committee Chairs to develop a schedule of oversight hearings and carefully review all federal spending within their jurisdiction in order to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and obsolescence. 
  • As a second step, on April 27, the House Democratic Leadership also directed Committee Chairs to develop a specific set of initiatives to reduce costs, end duplication, and promote efficiency in the programs within their jurisdiction.
  • In addition, the budget conference report contains key integrity initiatives to protect taxpayer money by rooting out waste, fraud and abuse.  It invests in efforts to crack down on health care provider fraud, strengthen efficiency, and reduce improper payments in such programs as Medicare and Social Security.  It also calls for major reforms in federal contracting, particularly at the DOD where there have been billions of dollars in documented abuses, with no-bid contracts and overpayments.

COLLECTING UNPAID TAXES

  • The budget conference report steps up IRS enforcement to collect unpaid taxes from those who are not paying what they owe.  It is estimated that the annual “tax gap” of unpaid taxes is more than $300 billion.  Every $1 spent on IRS enforcement generates $5 in owed taxes collected.