U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) today supported the second House Republican plan in as many weeks to prevent a national default and ensure spending cuts that exceed a federal debt limit increase.
The "Budget Control Act of 2011" was offered today by Speaker John Boehner as a substitute amendment to S. 627. This proposal would cut and cap spending by $917 billion over ten years, exceeding the $900 billion debt limit increase and immediately reducing current spending levels by $22 billion. Additionally, the plan requires that a Balanced Budget Amendment be sent to the states prior to any future raise in federal borrowing authority.
"Despite the president's rhetoric, House Republicans are the only lawmakers in Washington who have moved not one, but two bills that offer a balanced approach," said Harper. "It is clear that the great majority of folks in Mississippi and our district understand defaulting on America's financial obligations is not a realistic option for our economy."
This action comes shortly after the Senate failed to proceed on the House-passed "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011," which would immediately cut total non-defense discretionary spending below 2008 levels, cap federal payments at the historical average of 20 percent of GDP by 2021, and balance the budget by requiring that a Balanced Budget Amendment pass Congress and be sent to the states for ratification in order to increase the debt limit.
The "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011" remains stalled in the Senate along with the House-passed fiscal year 2012 budget resolution that reduces federal spending by $5.8 trillion over the next decade relative to the current-policy baseline and proposes entitlement reforms, which is a historical step for Congress.
Lawmakers are now four days away from August 2, 2011, the date which the Treasury Department has warned that the United States would reach its legal borrowing limit of $14.294 trillion.
The House has passed a budget and two plans to avoid a national default while the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House have failed to advance a budget or produce legislative plans to address the nation's debt crisis. In fact, it has been 821 days since the Senate has passed a budget.
"The time for real leadership is now," said Harper. "With nearly one in ten Mississippians out of work, Washington continues to borrow 41 cents of every dollar Congress spends. This is an unsustainable path, which is why Congress must act immediately to drive down spending and shrink the size of the federal government."
The "Budget Control Act of 2011" passed the House strongly along party lines by a vote of 218 to 210.