March 23, 2007

Whitehouse Votes to Pass Budget that Funds America’s Priorities

Final Resolution Includes Whitehouse-Sponsored Reserve Fund for Health IT

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today joined a majority of the Senate to pass a budget that forestalls deep cuts proposed by President Bush and increases funding for critical national priorities such as health care for children and veterans. Senate Concurrent Resolution 21 passed this afternoon by a vote of 52-47.

“The Senate passed a budget that puts the needs of working families first,” Whitehouse said. “The budget proposed by the President serves the wealthiest Americans at the expense of those who need our help the most. Today, the Senate reordered those priorities so we can begin to set our country on a better course.”

The Senate budget allocates a total of $50 billion over five years for the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) – 25 times more than under the President’s plan – and significant funding increases for education and veterans’ health care. It reduces the federal deficit over time to reach a balanced budget by 2012.

Whitehouse is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. During the committee’s consideration of the budget resolution last week, Whitehouse and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) successfully offered a bipartisan measure creating a deficit-neutral reserve fund to support the adoption of modern health information technology and accepted best practices in clinical settings. Reserve funds allow the chairman of the Budget Committee to adjust the budget resolution when certain legislation is passed, to accommodate revenue and spending levels included in the bill.


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