As a fiscal conservative, I believe in guarding against pork barrel spending. Each year Congress undertakes a lengthy struggle to appropriate funds. Accountability to the taxpayers is paramount. Americans often do not like how their hard-earned tax dollars are spent. We must keep federal spending under control and not expand the government. The attacks of September 11th changed our national spending priorities requiring us to focus more of our limited resources to improve airline security, strengthen our intelligence and military capabilities, and continue to revitalize our economy. Despite emergency spending needs we must remain vigilant and not let any crisis become an excuse for inserting "pet" projects into spending bills.
I believe Congress should treat the federal budget like an American family would treat their own budget, focusing on fiscal discipline and restraint. This is why I helped author the Deficit Reduction Act which reduced the federal budget deficit by more than $39 billion. Along with my colleagues, I eliminated waste, fraud and abuse in the federal Medicaid program and found ways to help States decide for themselves the best way to spend money in this program. For example, under this bill the federal government will no longer pay for any Medicaid benefits unless the beneficiary can show documentation proving their citizenship.
I also put a provision in the bill that would exclude people with more than $750,000 in home equity from qualifying for low income health coverage under Medicaid. I believe every dollar of state or federal Medicaid money that is spent on people who have the ability to pay for health care is one less dollar that will go to those among us who need assistance the most.