U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, on Monday voted in favor of a budget resolution that begins to address the debt crisis and set the stage for job creation by cutting federal spending, placing caps on future spending, and advancing the cause of a balanced budget amendment without raising taxes.
The House passed S.365, the Budget Control Act Agreement, by a 269-161 vote. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.
"Today, for the first time, we took a step toward giving Americans a government that lives within its means," Marino said. "This is a beginning, not an end. This debt is a problem both parties created over decades and much work remains to put an end to the excesses of Washington."
The legislation would make initial cuts in federal spending of more than $900 billion with deeper cuts of at least $1.2 trillion that will take effect later this year. The President would have the authority to raise the debt limit in amounts corresponding with the spending cuts subject to a congressional vote of disapproval.
The bill requires both chambers to vote on a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by the end of the year. Two-thirds of each chamber would have to vote in favor of the amendment and send it to the states for ratification before the debt ceiling could be increased.
"The voice of the American people is finally being heard in Washington," Marino said, noting that the atmosphere in the nation's capital has changed dramatically since the new House freshmen took office in January.
"The debate has turned from: "How much taxpayer money can we dole out and how many government programs can we create?' to `How much money can we save and what is the best way to balance the budget?' "
The deal reached Sunday by leaders of both chambers establishes a 12-person, bi-partisan committee to formulate a plan to make deep cuts. If the panel does not cut at least $1.5 trillion in the next decade, an automatic safeguard kicks in to reduce spending by $1.2 trillion.
Marino said the resolution is good start on the road to job creation andeconomic recovery.
"There is much more to be done and I will continue to stand up for the values of my constituents and bring accountability to Washington by putting an end to wasteful spending, balancing the budget and keeping taxes low," Marino said. "The principle that guides me is that innovators create jobs, not government. I believe this action today will send a signal that spurs our economy and leads to more jobs in America."