Washington, D.C.—Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch released the following statement after voting in favor of H.R. 2, a bill to repeal the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula and provide a two-year extension to the Secure Rural Schools program:
“For decades, Congress has struggled over two competing issues that are part of this legislation: repealing the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula, and meaningfully and fully addressing our national debt. The bill contains needed entitlement reforms and protections of our rural communities. Conservatives have long lobbied for this much-needed entitlement reform. But there is legitimate concern that the bill is not fully offset.
“One of our overriding concerns has been that the bill was not fully paid for. In the ensuing weeks since the House passed the legislation, commitments have been made regarding reductions in the upcoming Senate-House budget conference to reduce the budgeted spending to account for the need to fully offset this bill. Although this does not adopt the necessary offsets immediately, it does establish in our federal budget the recognition that our work on this legislation is not done. We must assure that this legislation does not add to our mounting national debt.
“This bill contained needed adjustments and reforms to our Medicare system and protections for our rural communities in states with high federal property ownership. We voted in favor of this bill tonight and give our commitment to work until the necessary spending offsets to be incorporated into our federal budget are realized so that Congress follows through on both: entitlement reform and federal spending reduction.”
The bill passed the Senate by a 92-8 vote.
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