With the nation's credit rating and the threat of higher interest rates on the line, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch today supported an agreement that sets a framework for trillions of dollars in permanent spending cuts and provides an opportunity to vote on a balanced budget amendment in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Key provisions in the plan ensure no tax increases and true spending reductions in excess of the debt ceiling increase. Both Idaho Senators agree that the proposal does not cut enough spending, but that it offers significant opportunities to take the necessary first steps to get our fiscal house in order.
Crapo said, "For years, our country has been headed down the road to this unprecedented and unsustainable fiscal crisis. It requires serious reforms that carry enforcement and weight beyond this Congress and into the future. This legislation starts us on that path. Spending cuts simply must come first, followed by tax reform that will reduce taxes and promote policies that will grow our economy and stimulate job creation and growth. And as we move through the process of cutting spending, the public deserves nothing less than an open, public and deliberative process in debating where and how to cut the budget."
Risch said, "This is a step in the right direction. We are making actual cuts to government spending, putting spending controls in place and providing for a vote on a balanced budget amendment without raising taxes. While it is a step in the right direction, it is only a first step in slowing the federal spending that is harming our economy. I am committed to continuing this effort to balance our budget and make government live within its means."
The 10-year plan was approved on a 74 to 26 vote. It offers $1 trillion in immediate spending cuts and a gradual increase in the debt ceiling to allow Social Security, Medicare and other obligations to be paid. The legislation also establishes a 12-member bipartisan Congressional committee that will decide future spending cuts of at least $1.5 trillion and change the fiscal debate in Washington.