Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) issued the following statement on Tuesday after helping the House pass legislation that offers real solutions for eliminating wasteful Washington spending and making sure the federal government can meet its obligations after Aug. 2:
"I supported the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation because constituents in my District and across the country are demanding that Washington live within its means and stop the spending-driven debt crisis forcing us to borrow 40 cents of every dollar the federal government spends. The legislation charts a responsible course for restoring much-needed fiscal sanity and making everyone in Washington more accountable to families, seniors, small business owners and all taxpayers.
Inspiring confidence is critical to creating jobs. House Republicans want American families to be confident that Washington will not be digging deeper into their pockets to support a spending habit that has been out-of-control for too many years. We want employers to be confident that Washington will not be imposing new burdens that make hiring more difficult. And we want the world to be confident that the United States will continue meeting our obligations while getting serious about controlling spending. I believe the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation the House passed this evening will accomplish all of those goals.
This legislation also includes an important reform that I have supported for years. Amending the Constitution to require a balanced federal budget is necessary to force Congress to engage the public in a debate each year about our budgetary priorities. It's hardly a radical concept. Most states -- 49 of the 50 to be exact -- must balance their budgets. A balanced budget amendment would require the federal government to figure out what's working and end the days of simply increasing spending without worrying about how to pay for it."
H.R. 2560, the proposed Cut, Cap and Balance Act, would:
CUT total spending by $111 billion in Fiscal Year 2012, reducing non-defense, discretionary spending below 2008 levels.
CAP the amount the government is allowed to spend each year, bringing spending into line with the historic average of 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
BALANCE by requiring the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment in order to raise the debt limit. It provides that the President can request a debt ceiling increase only if a qualifying Balance Budget Amendment passes Congress and is sent to the states for ratification.
The legislation passed by a 234-190 margin and now goes to the Senate for consideration.