Congressman Loebsack issued the following statement after the House of Representatives passed the Continuing Appropriations Act for FY 2011.
"Our country is facing great challenges that demand tough choices and serious, bipartisan work. We must promote an economy that works for Iowa families and we must put ourselves on a fiscally responsible path. Cutting spending is one part of the solution, but at a time when so many Iowa families and businesses are still struggling, we must ensure that the choices we make do not set back our economic recovery or put our children at a competitive disadvantage, but instead pave the way for ongoing economic growth and lasting stability.
"Living within our means is part of a responsible fiscal strategy that will put our country back on track. That is why I voted to cut over $1.57 billion in unneeded funding from the bill, including eliminating Pentagon boards and commissions that the Secretary of Defense identified as unnecessary or redundant and cutting unneeded programs that are proven to be ineffective or duplicative. I also voted to end a loophole that allows oil and gas companies to avoid paying $53 billion to US taxpayers over the life of their drilling leases and supported amendments to save the US taxpayer millions of dollars."
"But I could not vote for indiscriminate cuts that fail to address the needs of Iowa families and businesses, harm our economic recovery, or threaten our long-term fiscal sustainability. The bill that the House Majority passed today would make devastating cuts to education, job training, and infrastructure, and stifle research and innovation which would eliminate American jobs and jeopardize our future competitiveness.
"Iowa leads the nation in renewable energy development, which supports and creates thousands of jobs for Iowans. This bill not only cuts funding for renewable energy development, but it eliminates thousands of private-sector construction jobs and undercuts the infrastructure that businesses and farmers in Iowa need to support economic growth for our communities.
"By cutting funding to Pell grants and job training programs, this bill would make it harder for deserving students to afford the quality education Iowa colleges and universities provide and for Iowa workers to receive the education and training they need to compete in the 21st century workforce. It also threatens Iowa's place at the forefront of innovation by cutting funding for health and scientific research that keeps Iowans healthy and supports industrial competitiveness and technological advancements.
"There is no question that tough choices need to be made to get our fiscal house in order. But instead of reckless, short-sighted cuts, Congress must come together to make thoughtful decisions that eliminate unnecessary spending and prioritize job growth, economic recovery, and the long-term fiscal health of our nation."