Today, Congressman Sires supported passage of S. 365, the Budget Control Act of 2011, to avoid government default and reduce the deficit. The legislation, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 269 to 161, would increase our debt limit by at least $2.1 trillion until 2013, while establishing the framework for future deficit reduction without harming our current economic recovery.
"While this plan is not perfect, it is necessary in order to remove the cloud of uncertainty over our economy at this critical time," stated Congressman Sires. "Unlike previous proposals to raise the debt ceiling, this agreement prevents the middle class, seniors, and those who are most vulnerable from shouldering the burden of deficit reduction."
Specifically, this legislation guarantees economic security by raising the debt ceiling by at least $2.1 through 2012 and generates nearly $1 trillion in savings by placing caps on discretionary spending for ten years. The agreement also establishes a bipartisan Congressional Committee tasked with identifying an additional $1.5 trillion in savings, including tax reform. Congress is required to report and vote on the Committee's recommendation by the end of the year. Should Congress not come to an agreement to reduce our debt in the allotted time, an enforcement mechanism will be deployed to trigger further spending cuts beginning in 2013. Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare benefits, unemployment insurance, programs for low-income families, and civilian and military retirement would not be impacted by this trigger.
"I reluctantly supported this agreement because allowing our nation to default on our loan obligations at this fragile time in our economic recovery was not an option. Now that we have the framework established for future deficit reduction, it is of the utmost importance that my colleagues and I in Congress proceed in such a manner that insists on shared sacrifice from the most well-off and those with the most indefensible tax breaks- like companies that ship jobs overseas, while protecting the Social Security and Medicare benefits that so many depend on for everyday expenses," expressed Congressman Sires.
S. 365 is now under review in the Senate before being presented for the President's signature to become law.