Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) today voted against the Obama Administration's effort to increase the nation's statutory debt limit by $500 billion. Citing a recent decision by Standard & Poor's to downgrade the credit rating of the United States, Kingston urged his colleagues to abandon last month's deal to increase the limit in favor of a more aggressive debt-reduction strategy.
"For the first time in the history of our country, the full faith and credit of the United States has been called into question," said Kingston. "S&P found that the deal struck in August was not aggressive enough toward getting our fiscal house in order. Let's take their warning as a indication that it is time to return to the drawing board and get this right. Without appropriate action today, America could find herself as the next Greece or Ireland."
Today's vote came as the second of a three-step process laid out in August to increase the nation's debt limit by $2.1 trillion. As part of that deal, which Kingston opposed, the debt limit was immediately increased by $400 billion and the Administration was given the authority to request an additional $500 billion this month. An additional $1.2 trillion increase is contingent on the outcome of an effort the recently-launched Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Just days after that legislation was signed into law, Standard & Poor's confirmed the belief of Kingston and others by stating that the agreement "fell short" of the reforms needed to get the nation's debt under control. The internationally-recognized ratings agency downgraded U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ as a result.
Kingston believes Congress can and should come together to pass a more aggressive debt-reduction strategy. He has introduced legislation that would limit total federal spending as a percentage of the economy and balance the budget in just five years -- faster than any other plan currently on the table.
"For the third year in a row, the government will run a deficit in excess of $1 trillion," Kingston said. "My plan draws on the commonsense notion that families and small businesses abide by daily: you cannot spend more than you make. It is simple and yet Washington keeps trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to getting our fiscal house in order."
Kingston's proposal has quickly gained nationwide attention and received the support of grassroots advocacy groups like Americans for Prosperity, National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens United, and Americans for Limited Government.