Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Wednesday released the following statement on his vote to reopen the government until Jan. 15, 2014:
“I voted in September against shutting down the government, and today I voted to reopen it and to make sure that the United States pays its bills on time. We need to redouble our efforts to fix our country’s $16.7 trillion federal debt. We could start by passing the Corker-Alexander plan to reduce out-of-control entitlement spending by $1 trillion over the next 10 years.”
Senator Bob Corker, (R-Tn.), said, “It is beyond belief that Congress chose to pursue an effort that had no chance of success and wasted time that could have been spent putting in place spending reforms that will make our country stronger. But I do consider it a victory that we forced adherence to the Budget Control Act spending restraints, which for the first time since the 1950s, have caused us to reduce total government spending for two consecutive years,” said Senator Corker. “There’s much more work to do to get on a path to fiscal solvency, and I look forward to continuing that important work.”
The Budget Control Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 2011, helped reduce total government spending for two consecutive years. It will cause non-emergency discretionary spending to be decreased from $1.090 trillion in 2011 to $967 billion this year, officials said.
Senators Alexander and Corker introduced in February the Fiscal Sustainability Act, which they said would reduce the growth in entitlement spending by $1 trillion over 10 years and help make entitlement programs, including Medicare, solvent.