Last week, I voted in favor of the bipartisan “No Budget, No Pay” legislation, which states that before the President is granted any long-term debt limit increase, Congress should pass a budget that cuts spending. If it doesn’t, Members of Congress’ salaries will be withheld.
Washington’s ‘Let’s just go with the flow’ kind of attitude when it comes to budgeting is irresponsible and unsustainable. American families don’t have the luxury of simply requesting that their credit limit be raised when finances get tighter. Instead, they look for ways to cut back and save money.
We have a serious spending-driven debt crisis in America, and it threatens both our economic and national security. Current and former political, military and world leaders have called on Congress and the President to rein in the out-of-control spending. Former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that “A nation with our current levels of unsustainable debt … cannot hope to sustain for very long its superiority from a military perspective, or its influence in world affairs.”
It’s frustrating to think that we can identify this enemy—our record spending and debt—right in front of our eyes, that we have the means to beat it, but our own political unwillingness and inability to make necessary tough decisions is preventing us from coming out ahead.
Since President Obama was elected, our debt has increased by $6 trillion. We’ve been through a recession, over 13 million of our neighbors are unemployed or underemployed and our country’s credit worthiness has been downgraded.
Despite the clear need to budget within our means, the last time the Senate passed a budget was April 29, 2009. Even the President’s own budget received zero votes in the Senate, despite the fact that his own party controls it.
No person in America gets paid for not doing their job, and Members of Congress shouldn’t either. The American people put their faith in us when they elected each Member last November, and it’s up to us to hold ourselves accountable to get our country out of debt while getting our economy back on track.
The House has passed two budgets, the last of which cut spending by more than $4 trillion. We will continue to offer workable solutions in hopes that the President and the Senate will recognize the gravity of this crisis and want to work together.
An eternal optimist, I believe we can, and will, put down our partisan differences and work together to put us on a path for a stronger, more prosperous America.