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Home   /   Capitol Connection   /   Capitol Connection 02/07/2006

2006 Prayer Breakfast

On Saturday, March 11, 2006 at 8:00 AM, I will hold the 16th Annual Congressional Prayer & Praise Breakfast at the Crowne Plaza, 1 Holiday Drive in Asheville. I look forward to updating you at the breakfast on the outlook for Congressional action on matters of faith and family, including developments in education, health care and taxes.

To reserve a seat, please call my Asheville office at (828) 251-1988, and my staff will be happy to assist you. The cost is $13 per person at the door, which covers the cost of the meal; however, a reservation is required.

Please pass the word to friends and family, and I look forward to seeing you at this special event on March 11, 2006.

Summer Internships in Washington

I am looking for students to serve as summer interns in my Washington, DC office who have completed at least their second year of college, have a keen interest in government, and are willing to work long hours.

The Summer Intern Program is divided into two six-week sessions. The first session will begin Tuesday, May 30, 2006 and will end Friday, July 7, 2006; the second session will begin Monday, July 10, 2006 and conclude Friday, August 18, 2006. The program provides a $200 per-week stipend, and although no housing is provided, we do have information on housing in the area.

Please send a resume with cover letter, a brief (1-2 pages) writing sample, and 2 letters of recommendation to the attention of Michael Calvo of my Washington staff by Friday, March 31, 2006. You may also email this information to Michael at or mail your information to the following address:

339 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Internships are also available during the school year. If you have an interest in serving during this time, please send the same information that is requested above and what period of time you would be available. 

President Presents FY07 Budget Request

On Monday of this week, President Bush released his budget request for Fiscal Year 2007 which proposes $2.77 trillion in total spending – an increase of $61 billion or 2.2% over Fiscal Year 2006 levels.

Under the President’s proposal, discretionary spending would total $870.7 billion, an increase of $27.4 billion – or 3.2% -- over FY06. The bulk of this increase would go toward spending on defense programs (slated to increase by $28.5 billion, or 6.9% over FY06) and homeland security (proposed to increase by $1 billion, or 3.3% over the prior fiscal year). Non-security discretionary spending would be reduced under the President’s budget request by $2.2 billion, or 0.5% below FY06 levels.

Mandatory spending – programs like Medicare and Social Security, which account for 63% of total federal spending – would increase by $64 billion, or 3.8%.

The President’s FY07 budget includes anticipated requests for emergency supplemental appropriations of $88 billion in Fiscal Year 2006 and $52.3 billion in 2007. Of the amount anticipated for 2006, $70 billion would be for ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and $18 billion for hurricane-recovery activities. The $52.3 billion for 2007 emergency funding would consist of $50 billion for the war on terror and $2.3 billion for avian flu preparedness. These new requests add to the $58.4 billion in emergency supplemental funds already enacted in fiscal year 2006 for Iraq and hurricane recovery.

Below are some of the highlights of the President’s FY07 budget:

  • Medicare spending would increase by $49 billion, or 14.5%, and grow at an average of 7.7% through FY 2011.

  • Social Security would increase by $31 billion, or 5.6%, and grow at an average of 5.6% through FY 2011. In addition, the President would fund two years of the transition to proposed Social Security personal accounts, costing $81.6 billion over two years.

  • Medicaid and SCHIP spending would increase by $7 billion, or 3.5%, and grow at an average of 6.4% through FY 2011.

  • Veterans’ medical care would increase by $2.2 billion, or 9.6%.

  • The budget proposes to terminate or reduce 141 programs (a detailed list of which has not been put forward by the White House).

  • The budget would prevent $178.6 billion in tax increases over five years by making permanent the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003. An additional $202.9 billion over five years in tax relief is also proposed, including $51.7 billion for health care-related tax provisions. Only one year of Alternate Minimum Tax relief is proposed ($20.5 billion in FY07).

Now that the President’s budget request has been delivered to Congress, the Appropriations Committee will begin its annual process of hearings, during which we will question Executive Branch witnesses on their requested program funding. You can follow the hearing schedule for the House Interior Subcommittee, which I have the privilege to Chair, at the following site:

If you would like to study the details of the President’s budget for yourself, you can access it by clicking this link: