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Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter

July 30, 2010

This Week from Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Congresswoman McCollum Continues Fight Against Medicare Fraud
Medicare fraud costs U.S. taxpayers an estimated $60 billion every year. This theft from taxpayers represents a serious drain on a system seniors rely on for health care needs. This week, Congresswoman McCollum co-sponsored legislation designed to fight Medicare fraud - the Medicare Fraud Enforcement and Prevention Act (H.R. 5044). This bipartisan bill will update existing penalties and establish new procedures to help law enforcement catch Medicare scam artists, prevent abuse before it starts, and save taxpayers and seniors money.

McCollum Votes "No" on $58 billion Emergency Supplemental Appropriation for the Afghanistan War
This week Congresswoman McCollum voted against the Fiscal Year 2010 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899), citing the failure to include critical funding to address vital domestic needs as a result of the economic crisis as well as the need to reduce, rather than expand, the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan. Joining Congresswoman McCollum in opposing the legislation were 101 Democrats, including Appropriations Chairman David Obey, and 12 Republicans. The $58.8 billion is not paid for and will be added to the federal budget deficit.

Congresswoman McCollum Questions Government Officials on Nuclear Waste
At a House Budget Committee hearing earlier this week, Congresswoman McCollum questioned Department of Energy Undersecretary Kristina Johnson about the budgetary implications of abandoning plans for the Yucca Mountain nuclear storage facility after spending $100 billion on the site.

"For over a decade in Congress and during my time as a state legislator in Minnesota, I have worked to answer the question of what to do with our nation's nuclear waste. Minnesota ratepayers have already contributed $714 million to the Nuclear Waste Fund to find a permanent solution to this problem, and yet the U.S. government still does not have an answer on how to store the nation's radioactive waste. I am deeply frustrated by this. Until the Administration can detail a real plan and commitment to resolving the issue of nuclear waste, it is irresponsible to abandon the study of Yucca Mountain as a viable option, particularly after $100 billion has already been spent on the project."