Owens Votes Against Debt Hike

Statement

By:  Bill Owens
Date: June 1, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Last night, Congressman Bill Owens voted against H.R. 1954, legislation that would increase the limit on how much debt the federal government is allowed to hold by $2.4 trillion, bringing the public debt limit to $16.7 trillion. Owens has consistently urged leaders in Congress to work together to offer a bipartisan plan that cuts spending responsibly in the long-term and reduces the possibility of default on American debt.

"This bill does nothing to force Washington to live within its means, and that is why I voted against it," said Owens. "I will not support an increase in the nation's debt ceiling without a serious and sustained plan to cut federal spending and raise revenue as appropriate. As working families across the nation continue to tighten their belts, so too must Congress. It is my hope that Democrats and Republicans can work together in the coming months and compromise on a plan that achieves our mutual goal of reducing the debt and deficit."

Since being elected to office in 2009, Congressman Owens has voted against raising the debt ceiling three times. Previously, Owens has called for reducing the nation's debt by enacting a series of non-partisan spending cuts while allowing tax rates for millionaires and billionaires to return to Clinton-era levels. The expiration of Bush-era tax cuts for the nation's highest earners would affect less than one percent of New York's 23rd Congressional District.

"We cannot pay down the debt and deficit with spending cuts alone," Owens said. "It is critical to the long term fiscal health of the nation that we begin to shift the tax burden away from small business owners and middle-class families while allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the highest earners."