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Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 2560, ``The Cut, Cap and Balance Act'' of 2011.
This legislation would cut total spending by $111 billion in FY 2012 and would institute hard spending caps over the next ten years. The bill would provide for the president's request for a debt ceiling increase if and only if a Balanced Budget Amendment passes Congress and is sent to the states for ratification.
Today, we find ourselves on the precipice of a national economic calamity.
I am NOT speaking about the current debate over the debt ceiling, which is indeed very serious.
America pays its bills and default would be irresponsible!
But rather, I am referring to an unsustainable national debt--fueled by out-of-control spending and its damaging partner, rising taxes--that threatens to overwhelm our entire economy. We are truly on the verge of becoming ``Athens on the Potomac.''
Even if we were not facing a debt ceiling question, I would urge that we enact steep and immediate federal spending cuts, as the Committee on Appropriations is doing.
These reductions must be implemented now because the `promise' of cuts five or eight or 10 years from now means very little without a way to enforce them.
The only way to truly guarantee spending cuts from future Presidents and future members of Congress is to make sure that the Constitution requires it.
We've tried lower spending targets before.
We've attempted to use deficit reduction goals.
We've enacted ``across-the-board'' spending cuts.
We've impounded federal dollars.
We've even sequestered funding to force deficit reduction.
The fact of the matter is that none of them worked.
A $14.3 trillion national debate stands as an appalling monument to Washington's extravagance.
Congress and the President always find another waiver, another loophole, another procedural escape clause to get around what common-sense tells us has to be done: we must be made to live within our means.
Because we cannot continue to spend money we do not have, we are here today to cut spending immediately, set enforceable future caps on spending and send to the states for ratification a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution.
My Colleagues, the preamble to that Constitution states that we are to ``promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity .....''
As I said earlier, we stand at a financial precipice. Our current federal fiscal policies are unsustainable for us and for our posterity--our children and their children.
The legislation before us would return us to the spirit and the letter of the Constitution's Preamble.
In closing Mr. Chairman, we find ourselves in a debt crisis not because the debt ceiling is too low, but because federal government spending is too high!
H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act is a Constitutional, permanent solution which will put an end to the spending-driven debt spiral and rescue our children and grandchildren from a future of bankruptcy and limited opportunity.
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