Today, Congressman Scott Murphy (NY-20) sent a letter to the House Leadership along with other members of the Blue Dog Coalition urging them to properly impose budget enforcement mechanisms that cut and restrain the growth in federal spending. The letter calls on the Leadership to stop designating non-emergency spending as "emergency" to circumvent PAYGO. Congress must make sure that deficit reduction continues to be a top priority and that we reduce spending and pay for our priorities both now and in the future.
"Last year we took the important step of passing statutory Pay-As-You-Go legislation to keep Congress honest and began to put our fiscal house back in order. But time and again, we see new spending programs deemed to be "emergency spending' in an effort to bypass the restrictions we've put in place," said Rep. Murphy. "Balancing our budget is going to mean making tough choices and won't be easy. We must stop looking for loopholes and start being fiscally responsible."
This letter was sent to the House Leadership by the Blue Dog Coalition, and was signed by 58 fiscally-conservative Representatives, including Congressman Murphy.
The letter is below:
Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer:
We can no longer put off addressing the nation's fiscal crisis, which was created by years of mismanagement and has been exacerbated by the recent economic crisis. Failure to put in place and properly enforce budget enforcement mechanisms that cut and restrain the growth in federal spending will only make the tough, necessary decisions harder to achieve in the future.
Markets around the world, including ours, were shaken by the debt crisis in Europe. Many economists point to the U.S.'s high levels of debt and wonder if our country is heading towards a similar fate. While our economy is still recovering and more needs to be done to create jobs, it is critical that we balance these investments with offsets over the long run.
We recognize and understand the need for the emergency designation as narrowly defined in the statutory PAYGO law recently passed by the House and signed into law by President Obama. However, we have made a commitment to pay for our priorities. It is critical that we uphold our efforts to restore fiscal discipline to the federal government by not using this tool for anything other than it is intended -- a true, unforeseen emergency.
Extending critical, economic investments is no more important than paying for them. America is facing a debt crisis that is threatening to undermine our economic and national security. We can no longer afford to exacerbate the problem because the decisions about how to pay for what we spend are getting harder.
We stand ready to work together with you to ensure that deficit reduction continues to be a top priority of Congress and the administration, and to take meaningful steps to reduce spending and pay for our priorities now and in the future.