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February 9, 2006

President Signs Measure Enacting
Fiscal Restraint

Bill Will Reduce Deficit by More Than $39 Billion

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) today said the Deficit Reduction Act, which the president signed today, will reduce the deficit by more than $39 billion.

“As anyone who’s ever had credit card debt knows, spending more money than you have is never a good idea,” Pryce said.  “This Deficit Reduction Act will reduce the deficit to the tune of more than $39 billion dollars and reform important government programs to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.  I remain committed to spending taxpayer dollars wisely, or not at all.”

Highlights of the Deficit Reduction Act:

  • Expands welfare reform by reauthorizing the successful welfare reform policies in TANF and providing an additional $1 billion for child care;
  • Lowers the government’s prescription drug costs by setting more realistic reimbursement rates for medicines based on the average manufacturers’ price;
  • Rebuilds community first-responder capabilities by freeing up vital spectrum airwaves;
  • Protects workers’ pensions by placing the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) on a more solid financial foundation and protecting taxpayers from the cost of a massive bailout;
  • Increases heating assistance for low-income Americans by assuming $1 billion in additional funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
  • Prevents Medicare physician payment cuts in 2006 by freezing payment rates for physician services and includes significant new quality reporting initiatives for hospitals and home health agencies as well as increased transparency on quality measures;
  • Increases student loan limits to allow more students access to higher education, reduces fees, and finds savings by reducing excess lender subsidies; and
  • Enacts reforms based on the cost-saving recommendations of the bipartisan National Governors Association to slow the growth of the Medicaid program.  However, the amount spent on the Medicaid program will continue to rise.