April 24, 2014

Sen. Johanns says budget deal fails to face federal fiscal crisis

Sen. Mike Johanns says he voted against the trillion dollar federal budget deal, because it failed to face the nation’s fiscal crisis.

Johanns says he understands the frustration with sequestration, but says the deal reached to fund the federal government through September isn’t the answer.

“The Budget Control Act was not a perfect piece of legislation and I fully appreciate that,” Johanns tells Nebraska Radio Network. “But having said that, for two straight years now we’ve brought down non-defense discretionary spending. That is unbelievable. That hadn’t happened since the Korean War.”

Negotiators for the House and Senate reached a $1.012 trillion deal to fund the federal government through September. It contains about $25 billion more in discretionary spending than last year and $45 billion more than the Budget Control Act, the so-called sequestration.

Johanns says he couldn’t vote for a compromise that will worsen the $17 trillion federal debt.

“We backed off on the budget caps and I just think that’s the wrong thing to do,” Johanns says.

Johanns says the $650 billion annual federal deficits will only get worse as Baby Boomers continue to retire and tap into more and more federal programs.

“I just think it really was the wrong direction.”

Johanns agrees with analyst who say the compromise reached between the House and the Senate seemed more like a truce than anything.

“I think it was, unfortunately,” Johanns responds. “This is an election year for all of the House and a third of the Senate. I think they just wanted to get it behind them. You know, there had been that government shutdown. It was a bad deal. Nothing came out of it.”