U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, this evening joined his House colleagues in voting to pass the "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011" (H.R. 2560), an innovative three-pronged approach to tackle our nation's soaring debt and put our fiscal house back in order. Specifically, this legislation would cut total spending by $111 billion in FY 2012, reducing non-defense discretionary spending below FY 2008, pre-stimulus levels; implement statutory spending caps to bring federal spending in line with the historic average of 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2021; and require congressional passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Upton, a cosponsor of H.R. 2560, has long supported all three provisions of the bill as meaningful, long-term budgetary reforms. The bill passed the House 234-190 and now heads to the Senate for consideration.
"Michigan families and small business owners have made the difficult choices to live within their means -- it is long past time for Washington to do the same," said Upton. "We simply cannot afford to continue spending money that we do not have. To restore economic confidence and encourage job creation, we must act to drastically reduce our debt burden and put our fiscal house back in order. That not only means substantial cuts in federal spending, but comprehensive reforms that will put us on a path to a balanced budget."
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has pegged August 2, 2011, as the day when the United States will exhaust its borrowing authority and begin defaulting on its debt, unless an agreement is reached to further raise the nation's $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. Two of the major credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's and Moody's, have both warned that the U.S. government is dangerously close to having its AAA credit rating downgraded. Moody's further indicated that "to retain a stable outlook, such an agreement should include a deficit trajectory that leads to stabilization and then decline in the ratios of federal government debt to GDP and debt to revenue beginning within the next few years."