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U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, released the following statement today as the United States Senate began debate on the balanced budget resolution:

“Last week, the Senate Budget Committee took an important first step in helping to change the way we do business here in Washington – by reporting out a balanced budget,” said Chairman Enzi.  “This week, we take the next step as the Senate begins debating how best to make the government live within its means and set spending limits for our nation. But we are running out of time, and unless we do something soon, our nation will overspend by nearly $1 trillion a year. Hardworking taxpayers are paying attention. In fact, 24 states have already passed a Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment, and there are 10 more working on it. If all of these states pass similar measures, we will have 34 states calling for a Constitutional Convention and we will be forced to act.”

Chairman Enzi noted that the Senate Budget Resolution:

Balances the budget in 10 years with no tax hikes.

 Protects our most vulnerable citizens.

Strengthens the national defense.

 Improves economic growth and opportunity for hardworking families.

Slows the rate of spending growth.

Preserves Social Security by reducing spending in other areas to fully offset Social Security’s rising deficits and encourages our nation’s leaders to begin a bipartisan, bicameral discussion on how to protect Social Security and avoid the across-the-board Social Security benefit cuts that will occur under current law.

Protects our Seniors by safeguarding Medicare from insolvency and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund by five years.

Ensures Medicare savings are dedicated to Medicare, instead of seeing those changes go to more overspending.

Continues funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Creates a new program based on CHIP to serve low-income, working-age, able-bodied adults, and children who are eligible for Medicaid. 

Increases state flexibility in designing benefits and administering Medicaid programs to encourage efficiency and reduce wasteful spending, while providing stable and predictable funding so long-term services and supports are sustainable both for the federal government and the states.