Congressman Brett Guthrie on 2012 Budget Deal

By: Hayley Harmon Email
By: Hayley Harmon Email

The US House of Representatives passed the Republican leadership's bill for the 2012 budget.

WBKO's Hayley Harmon spoke with Congressman Brett Guthrie today and he says the top priority in Washington is slashing the federal deficit.

The 2011 budget was a hard-fought battle between the House and Senate.

It got done, but Guthrie says it's not enough.

"It's just the beginning. We are swimming in debt. This ship is just beginning to turn," said Guthrie, the Republican representative for the 2nd District.

$38.5 billion will be cut under that new law.

"Discretionary spending alone. It doesn't affect Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security or defense," said Guthrie.

He says in order to make a significant dent in the national debt, some big changes have to come.

"Stock markets are already starting to fall and it is something that we are at the point where everybody says you can't kick the can down the road, well we can't kick it any further," said Guthrie.

The 2012 House bill hopes to do that by cutting $4.4 trillion over the next decade.

The major cuts will hit Medicare and Medicaid, which are major contributors to the current debt.

"Employer provided health insurance plan that's being provided by the government. You'll have premiums and copays. It'll be based on your income level. But you will be covered," said Guthrie.

The House bill will now go to the Democratic-controlled Senate for approval.

Guthrie says he is hoping parties can compromise.

"Us in the House are going to solve this problem and we are going to force the Senate to address it and bring the President along," said Guthrie.

Bottom line, he says it is imperative for the House and Senate to come to some sort of agreement for next year's budget.

"If we continue in debt the way that we're going and don't turn the way that we spend, we're not going to be able to borrow money and it's going to affect current Medicaid recipients," said Guthrie.

The current national debt is estimated at more than $1.5 trillion.

Guthrie says the proposed changes to Medicare in the House bill will not affect anyone currently 55 or older.


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