[Nfbmo] FW: Reply from Senator McCaskill

Gary Wunder GWunder at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 1 21:57:05 UTC 2011

Can anyone guess, from this response I've just received, what it was I was
writing to the senator about? I remember 25 years ago getting a tremendous
laugh at a meeting of the Board of Directors when I'd read a letter from a
little-known one-term state representative that went something like this:

Dear Mr. Wunder:
Thank you very much for writing me to express your views about this issue
which is of so much importance to you. Please be assured that I always
welcome whatever my constituents have to say and I will keep your views in
mind if and when you're issue comes before the House of Representatives for
a vote.

Please be assured that my door is always open in my attempt to be responsive
to your needs. Again I thank you for writing me about this issue which is of
the utmost importance to you.

I wonder if there is much difference between that letter and the one you
will see below? Frankly I am surprised. I am reminded of the days when I
would correspond with Sen. John Danforth and his letter would either say I
support this, I haven't yet made up my mind, or I oppose this but appreciate
your opinion just the same. I also remember dialogue which led to his
changing his position on at least one occasion and the changing of my own
position on another. I'm not sure this letter will lead to any kind of
dialogue. I welcome your comments.

From: senator at mccaskill.senate.gov [mailto:senator at mccaskill.senate.gov] 
Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 4:34 PM
To: gwunder at earthlink.net
Subject: Reply from Senator McCaskill

April 1, 2011

Dear Mr. Wunder,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your priorities for the federal
budget.  I have heard from many Missourians about the funding of various
federal programs during the current debate on our budget.  Your input is
valuable to me as Republicans and Democrats attempt to negotiate a
compromise to complete a spending bill that will fund the government for the
rest of the year.

I am extremely concerned about the federal deficit and debt, and I have been
working to rein in both since I came to the Senate four years ago.  Reducing
the deficit is going to require holding down spending across the board, in
addition to eliminating loopholes and distortions in the tax code.  I am
proud of my work with Republican Senators Jeff Sessions (AL) and Bob Corker
(TN) seeking to put in place sensible spending caps, as well as the many
other efforts I have pursued, such as fighting to enact pay-as-you-go
spending rules, which are now law.

Unfortunately, some of my colleagues in Congress have proposed to reduce the
deficit by focusing nearly exclusively on the 12% of the federal budget that
comprises non-security discretionary spending.  This is the portion of the
budget that funds roads, schools, hospitals, and housing.  In February,
Republicans in the House of Representatives passed a bill, H.R. 1, that
would cut $60 billion from non-security spending in 2011.

H.R. 1 was neither realistic nor responsible, and it was simply too narrow.
It would have imposed unsustainable cuts on many programs that are vital to
hard-working Missourians and Missouri communities.  Massive cuts included in
the bill to the Social Security Administration would actually increase the
deficit in the long run because it would reduce resources to fight fraud.

I firmly believe that we need to reduce federal spending and, in fact,
opposed an alternative to H.R. 1 that was proposed that failed to adequately
restrain spending.  The reality is that very few programs will see funding
increases this year, and any increases will be offset by cuts elsewhere in
the budget.  However, I will not support the gutting of vital programs as
the House suggested.
As someone who has been focused on addressing our federal budget crisis
since I came to the Senate, I welcome the renewed focus on government
spending.  I know that Missourians recognize that addressing the deficit
will require shared sacrifice and compromise, and that it cannot be a
process driven by ideology.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in
the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other




Claire McCaskill
United States Senator

P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help
Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up
for my email newsletter at www.mccaskill.senate.gov.

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