WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following President Obama’s budget proposal this week, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading Senate conservative, today re-introduced S. 360, the Honest Expenditures Limitation Program (HELP) Act of 2011. This legislation would cut non-security discretionary spending to 2008 levels and freeze them there for five years. It would result in nearly $1 trillion in savings over a 10 year period.
“The current spending trend under President Obama is irresponsible and unsustainable,” said Inhofe. “It is inconceivable that the budget he proposed this week would include another year of deficit spending at $1.65 trillion. Obviously, the White House lacks leadership on addressing our spending problems. ”
Inhofe continued, “My new HELP Act will offer a fiscally responsible step towards addressing our nation’s deficit spending and growing debt problems. With the support of many Congressional Democrats, President Obama has proposed a freeze of non-security discretionary spending at their current levels – after he has increased those amounts by more than twenty percent over the last two years. In order to save money, everyone knows you have to cut spending, not freeze in the higher spending levels. That is why the HELP Act cuts non-security discretionary spending back to 2008 levels and freezes it there. This would save roughly $1 trillion over a ten year period.”
FACTS ABOUT THE HELP ACT
Ø The proposal would cut discretionary spending at FY08 levels for all non-security appropriations, which excludes Defense, Homeland Security, State, Veterans Administration, and national security functions of the Energy Department.
Ø The spending freeze at the 2008 level would last for 5 years. Afterward, spending increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index between 2017 and 2021.
Ø A 67-vote Point of Order in the Senate would be triggered by any appropriations bill that causes the total non-security discretionary cap to be breached. It would also be triggered by a provision in any legislation, amendment, or conference report that attempted to legislatively exempt new spending from sequestration.
Ø Spending for overseas military operations would be exempt from the cap.