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Huizenga Grills Bernanke on Long-Term "Entitlement" Funding Reform


WASHINGTON (WHTC) - While most of the attention dealt with the here and now when Ben Bernanke appeared before the House Financial Services Subcommittee yesterday, one Congressman had something more long-term in mind when he had his five minutes with the Fed Chairman. Bill Huizenga had asked Bernanke how he would respond to “those who say that we can’t or shouldn’t reform” long-term federal program funding. Bernanke said that "I don't think that we have any choice. I've tried throughout this discussion to always have two parts to the recommendation. With the idea being that we want to reduce somewhat the fiscal drag in 2013, and I didn't -- you know, I'm not speaking only about the sequester, I talked about all of the fiscal actions which collectively are about 1.5 percentage points according to CBO, but I'm not here to recommend that we just kick the can indefinitely down the road. I think it's very important to address." Huizenga claims that as much as three-fourths of federal spending is on “auto pilot” with funding entitlement programs that aren’t affected by the Sequester or other cuts currently under discussion in Washington.