Congressman Jim Matheson today opposed a $1 trillion dollar spending bill (H.R. 1) that was approved in the U.S. House, saying it lacked the serious effort Utahns deserve in order to get the country's fiscal house in order.
"Congress needs to do more by way of spending cuts. That is why I had hoped to vote for a bipartisan, alternative bill that cuts $20 billion more than the adopted measure, and does so in a way where all programs share in the sacrifice," said Matheson. "Unfortunately, that bill was withdrawn at the last minute."
Matheson voted for dozens of amendments--including several he offered that would save over $600 million--to rein in federal spending. But he said that with only 15% of total federal spending on the chopping block in today's measure, meaningful deficit reduction won't occur.
"The main act begins when we start to tackle all things sacred, including Defense, Social Security and Medicare reform," said Matheson.
"It's time for Congress to show courage. In order to stop out-of-control government spending, both parties need to come together and put all their favorite programs on the table. The true path to fiscal balance requires shared sacrifice," Matheson said.
"We face a looming fiscal crisis. It threatens our prosperity and our national security. Cutting wasteful or duplicative programs in every account are all part of the equation if we are ever to return to balanced budgets. Cuts may be painful, they may be unpopular, but given what we are up against, they are necessary," said Matheson.
Matheson said his record includes voting for substantial cuts across the board, even to programs he believes are worthwhile.
"But I also believe that, as a nation, we must share equally in the burden of digging out from years of irresponsible budgeting. When it comes to cutting spending, I am saying we must do more and we must equitably share the sacrifice," said Matheson.