Is Congress moving ahead on the budget?

Note: This post originally ran at the Institute to Reduce Spending.

This week, the House and Senate have been crafting their drafts of a 2018 budget resolution, but the two chambers still have a ways to go in order to reach an agreement.

The House budget seeks to cut Medicare and Medicaid by $473 billion and $1 trillion over the next decade, respectively. In addition, it would find savings from entitlement programs such as food stamps and student loan programs.

The Senate’s plan would keep defense spending flat over the next 10 years, while cutting $5.1 trillion in domestic spending.

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) expressed his discontent with what seems to be a Senate budget that will add $1.5 trillion to the deficit, saying that the debt, “is the greatest threat to our nation.”

Congress will have to iron out the details by their December 9th deadline to pass the budget resolution. The 52 Republicans in the Senate will require support from Democrats in order to reach the 60 vote threshold to send the legislation to the President’s desk.

CRS signs coalition letter urging Congress to consider the CREATES act

Today, the Coalition to Reduce Spending was proud to join a bipartisan group of organizations urging Congressional leadership take action on the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act.

This legislation would encourage competition in the drug industry, lowering prescription prices for both consumers and the government.

We’re proud to add our name alongside over 35 diverse stakeholders and push for meaningful healthcare reform.

Read the full letter here.


Federal Debt Passes $20 trillion

On Friday, the U.S. officially surpassed $20 trillion in debt. This milestone marks an inevitable but deeply disappointing moment for fiscal conservatives of all kinds.

This historic moment in our nation’s history further signals the need for spending reforms and fiscal responsibility across the federal government.

There is no better time than now to demand to our elected officials that dealing with our runaway debt and spending should be at the forefront of all policy discussions.

A Healthcare Bill Republicans and Democrats Can Get Behind

If I told you Republican Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and John McCain (R-AZ), came together with Democratic Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT)—among others—to sponsor a bill, would you believe it?

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act of 2017 (or CREATES Act) brings Senators from across the political spectrum together. The bill has the potential to bring down prices for government and consumers by encouraging competition in the drug market.

Under FDA regulations, drug companies are legally required to provide samples to FDA-approved generic companies when requested once a drug patent expires so that generics can prove their safety. FDA regulations also require that manufacturers participate in Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies—or REMS—when dealing with dangerous and possibly fatal drugs, but brand-name manufacturers often refuse to share samples or let competitors participate in shared safety protocols.

With CREATES, generic manufacturers have a path to relief if companies refuse to sell samples of the drugs or participate in REMS.

Now, we’re hearing that the bill may be used as a pay-for to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at the end of the month. While full details and potential savings are not yet known, this is an encouraging opportunity to see much-needed reforms that both sides can support, at a time when Congress seems to butt heads on nearly every other issue.

CRS signs coalition letter urging spending reform in debt limit fight

Today, the Coalition to Reduce Spending was proud to join alongside ten fiscally conservative organizations to urge Congressional leadership not to raise the debt limit “without significant reforms that put our nation on a path to fiscal balance.”

Year after year, Congress kicks the can down the road without any real steps in the direction of reform or restraint. Now under united Republican government and many members of Congress who got elected promising to cut spending, there is no excuse not to seek reforms.

We’re proud to add our name to efforts urging just that.

Read the full letter here.


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