McMorris Rodgers Responds to the President’s FY08 Budget Proposal

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers today applauded the President’s efforts to balance the budget without raising taxes in his Fiscal Year 2008 budget proposal. While the budget does propose funding for programs important to Eastern Washington, McMorris Rodgers is critical of efforts to raise BPA rates and zero out funding for rural health programs and the Perkins Loan program.

“Our budget must continue to support pro-growth policies that create jobs and allow people and businesses of Eastern Washington to keep more of their own money,” said Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers. “We can all find parts of the President’s budget with which we agree and disagree. It is important to remember that this budget is just a proposal, and that I will work in Congress to ensure that programs important to Eastern Washington receive the necessary funding.”

“I was disappointed to see that funding for the 36th Rescue Flight Helicopter stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base was not included in the budget. I will continue to bring regional representatives together to stand up for the 36th and their crucial role in Eastern Washington.”

Highlights of the President’s budget proposal include an extra $350 million for the program to replace the aging KC-135 refueling tankers at Fairchild Air Force Base. Funding was also included for the American Competitiveness program, which will put more teachers into the fields of math, science, and foreign language.

As in past years, The FY08 budget proposal would require the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to use surplus revenues to pay down their debt. It has the potential to increase consumer electricity rates by 10 percent by mandating that surplus revenues can only be used for debt reduction and not rate reduction. Last October, McMorris Rodgers joined with other members of the Northwest delegation in sending a letter to the Administration urging them to leave BPA rates alone.

“Once again, the Administration has unfortunately chosen to target our region’s low energy rates through their BPA secondary rate proposal,” continued McMorris Rodgers. “Although this year they are encouraging a dialogue to take place before this proposal is implemented, that does not change the fact that using surplus revenues to pay down debt will only harm the economy of the Pacific Northwest. This proposal has failed in the past, and I am confident that this year will be no different. However, the third-party financing proposal also included in the budget is a positive step in allowing us to invest more in the needed expansion of our transmission system.”

Missing from the President’s budget proposal is funding for crucial rural health programs that are important to Eastern Washington such as Outreach Grants and Flexibility Grants. These grants play an essential role in providing quality and affordable health care to rural communities.

Finally, McMorris Rodgers will work to restore funding for the successful Perkins Loan Program, which was zeroed in the budget. For over 50 years, the Perkins Loan Program has offered long-term, low-interest loans to disadvantaged students. For the past two years, McMorris Rodgers has helped lead a bipartisan effort to restore funding.

Recent Posts

McMorris Rodgers Introduces Bill Expanding Service Opportunities for Disability Community

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) reintroduced the Hannah Cvancara Service Act (H.R. 7405) to empower individuals with a non-service-connected amputation to serve the United States Armed Forces as medical personnel. This legislation was inspired by Hannah Cvancara, a Spokane resident who suffered a childhood amputation that disqualified her from serving […]

McMorris Rodgers, Cantwell Applaud Approval of Disaster Declaration for Spokane County Following Devastating Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden declared that a major disaster exists in Spokane County and ordered federal assistance to supplement recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Gray Fire and the Oregon Road Fire in August 2023. After the announcement, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) […]

Feb 15, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Helps Pass Bipartisan Bill to Block President Biden’s LNG Export Ban, Unleash American Energy

Washington D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) helped the House of Representatives pass the Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (H.R. 7176) to reverse President Biden’s American liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. She released the following statement after the vote: “The President’s decision to impose a ban on new permits […]