Stimulus needs to fit the bill of money spent wisely and effectively
After an announcement by the Congressional Budget Office that the federal deficit is nearly $1.2 trillion, Senator John Ensign released the following statement:
“Taxpayers, especially our youngest generation, across the country should be alarmed by today’s announcement. As Congress considers ways to stimulate our struggling economy, today’s report should provide extra caution to lawmakers that we need to rein in wasteful and duplicative government spending.
“Our economy needs help. We must take a careful and deliberate approach when crafting the stimulus plan, so that it fits the bill of money spent wisely and effectively.
“We need to focus on sound and proven policies that will create jobs and grow our economy over the long-term. We should look toward tax relief that will help thaw the frozen credit markets and boost our economy, including repatriation and corporate tax cuts that we know will have a profound and positive impact.”
Senator Ensign is a member of the Budget Committee and Finance Committee and is Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.
Ensign Bill Provides Relief to Seniors
Senator John Ensign introduced legislation that will provide seniors with greater access to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology services. The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act would permanently repeal the Medicare beneficiary therapy caps, an arbitrary restriction that prevents many seniors from receiving much-needed therapy.
"The United States is home to the best medical care in the world," said Ensign. "Unfortunately, many seniors have limited access to even the most basic medical services as they seek a healthy recovery. I am urging my colleagues to support this legislation because we should make every effort to curtail seniors' dependency on our medical institutions."
Studies have found that, in one year, almost 650,000 Medicare beneficiaries would have had their physical, occupational or speech-language therapy benefits prematurely ended because of this cap.
"Therapy is necessary to effectively manage and confront many age-related diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson's, and congenital heart failure," said Ensign. "Every year in the Senate we debate this issue of therapy caps, and this year needs to be the last."
Through moratoriums or a measure known as an exceptions process, Congress has implemented short-term fixes in 1999, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2006. This is a redundant task that only temporarily resolves the issue, and it ignores the need to permanently fix this problem for our seniors. Without Congressional action, the beneficiary cap on therapy services will be effective on January 1, 2010, less than one year from today, and our seniors will lose access to critical services.
Ensign's bill will permanently resolve this issue and was introduced today with Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) to ensure a bipartisan solution.
Ensign Pushes For A Tax Free Internet
Senator John Ensign introduced legislation that will make the Internet tax moratorium permanent.
“Since its inception, the internet has revolutionized our way of life,” said Ensign. “It has changed the way we do business, connected family and friends, and helped make global communications seamless. By making the internet tax moratorium permanent, we will make sure nobody can place speed bumps in the path of innovation.”
The current moratorium on taxing access to the Internet, which was extended in 2007, expires on November 1, 2014. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act will ensure that the moratorium does not cease. Democrats continue to resist enacting a full permanent moratorium, which should be a cause of concern to taxpayers everywhere.
“Let’s keep the Internet tax free, once and for all,” said Ensign. “Doing so would ensure that the Internet remains a dynamic resource driving innovation in our economy.”
Ensign, Reid Fight for Tax Relief for Nevadans
John Ensign and Harry Reid joined forces today (January 8, 2009) in
supporting key tax relief for Nevadans. The deduction
for state and local sales taxes, an important measure of fairness for residents
in states like Nevada that do not have a state income tax, is set to expire on
January 1, 2010. Ensign and Reid joined as cosponsors of a bill to permanently
extend the state and local sales tax deduction.
“Our economy is hurting, and nobody knows that more than Nevada,” said Ensign. “People all across Nevada are struggling to make ends meet. Now is not the time to be raising taxes on middle-class families who rely on this deduction.”
“I was happy we extended this important tax cut in the last Congress, but it’s time to make it permanent,” said Reid. “Hundreds of thousands of Nevadans rely on this deduction. Making it permanent is long overdue and especially meaningful during these challenging times.”
Because Nevada has no state income tax, Nevadans are allowed to deduct a portion of their sales tax from their federal tax returns, saving most families hundreds of dollars each year. In October 2008, the state and local sales tax deduction was extended by Congress, but it expires on January 1, 2010.
The two senators pointed out that more than 350,000 Nevadans benefit from the state and local sales tax deduction.