Republican candidate for United States Senate, Don Stenberg, stated today the federal government must drastically reduce spending or face economic ruin.
Stenberg, the state Treasurer, supports a balanced-budget amendment to the United States Constitution, a ban on Congressional earmarks and the elimination of the federal departments of energy and education. Stenberg said he would preserve the nuclear regulatory functions at the Department of Energy.
“But, most of what the Department of Energy does, building full of bureaucrats, we’re going to get rid of them,” Stenberg stated in answer to a question. “The Department of Education, again, the bureaucrats in Washington don’t educate a single child. What they do is write rules and they enforce rules on the states that raise the cost to the states of providing education. So, we would get rid of all the federal education bureaucrats.”
Stenberg unveiled his proposal to cut federal spending during a news conference at his campaign headquarters in Lincoln. Stenberg has embarked on a three-swing through the state to talk about the proposal, with visits to Kearney, North Platte and Sidney scheduled for today.
Other portions of the plan call for a permanent ban on Congressional earmarks and placing a sunset on federal programs, with the exception of Social Security, Medicare and Veterans benefits. Congress would review programs every ten years and vote on whether to restore them. The Congressional and White House budgets would be cut 15% under the plan and a freeze would be placed on non-defense pay.
The plan shies from supporting cuts to the Department of Defense budget. During questioning, Stenberg acknowledged America’s military obligations might be spread a bit thin.
“I think we need to do a thorough review of all our troop deployments around the world and determine where they’re still needed, where we can bring people home, where we can redeploy people to places in the world, where we have greater defense needs at the present time,” Stenberg said.
Stenberg doesn’t support President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to cut the Defense budget, stating that the president’s strategy would endanger the country’s security. Stenberg also advocated repealing the federal health care law.
AUDIO: GOP U.S. Senate candidate Don Stenberg outlines proposal to cut federal spending [8:30]