In advance of a potential shutdown by the federal government later this week, Congressman Bill Owens renewed his call to pass a compromise bill to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year, preventing drastic cuts to government services critical to working families. Recent news reports have suggested that negotiations have broken down before the federal government runs out of funding at midnight on Friday, April 8th.
"It is well past time to reduce spending in Washington, but we have to take ideology out of the process," Owens said. "There are reports this morning that the two parties are $7 billion apart in their budget negotiations. If these reports are true, then it would only take an additional .0023% cut across-the-board to meet in the middle and get the job done. I have expressed for many weeks that we can enact a two percent cut across-the-board, with the exception of Social Security, and still arrive at the same dollar amount offered by the House Majority of approximately $60 billion. I believe this is a fair compromise to fund the federal government through the end of the current fiscal year while avoiding a stoppage in the recent momentum we have seen in the way of job creation."
The federal government is currently operating under the third stopgap spending bill passed by Congress in recent months, which expires on April 8, 2011. Owens has called for a modest two-to-three percent cut to all federal programs through the fiscal year so that Congress may focus on working with the President to produce a 2012 budget focused on job creation and debt reduction. The only exception to Owens' proposal is to exempt Social Security from any cuts, because it is a self-funding program.
"There is a way to cut spending in a fiscally responsible way and grow jobs at the same time, but it's going to take both parties working together for the American people to get the job done," Owens added. "Many of my constituents have told me that they understand the need to cut spending and are prepared to share the pain, but current proposals will stifle job growth and the economy of Upstate New York. In December, both parties came together in a compromise to protect the middle class by extending the Bush-era tax cuts. It is time for leadership in both parties to reach a compromise that reduces spending responsibly and demonstrates to the American public that we can work together to solve our nation's problems.".