Idaho First District Congressman Raúl R. Labrador issued the following statement tonight after the vote in the House of Representatives on H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap and Balance Act.
"Today's vote is a milestone in the debate on changing Washington's business-as-usual culture. Just a few short weeks ago a tone-deaf President Obama delivered a budget to Congress that asked for an increase in spending, as if his administration had no idea our country was in financial crisis. It failed to gain a single vote in the Senate. A few weeks later he called for Congress to pass a "clean' vote on raising the debt ceiling--which I believe was a request for a blank check to increase spending. Congress refused. Soon after we had calls from the president and Democrats to raise taxes. I will not vote to raise taxes.
"Few people believed that some of us in the House would ever be able to get Cut, Cap and Balance to a vote in Congress, much less pass that the legislation would pass the House. The reality is strikingly different in today's debate.
"Americans instinctively know what the fundamental cause of the debt crisis is--it is the ever-growing debts we incur through out-of-control spending and not the debt ceiling itself. Our great nation did not find itself $14 trillion in debt overnight and it will take many years to correct this problem, but we must start now and we must hold future Congresses accountable regardless of party. A cap on spending and a balanced budget amendment will prevent future Congresses from ever returning us to the situation we find ourselves in today.
"Some pundits and even the president call a balanced budget amendment a gimmick. If it is a gimmick why do the majority of states abide by such laws? Two years ago the state of Idaho had an enormous budget deficit and now today, after making difficult but necessary cuts, it has a surplus. It has a balanced budget requirement and strong political leadership to thank for its success. It is time for the same leadership in Washington. Balanced budget amendments work. I urge the Senate to take up this legislation and help return our country to fiscal sanity."