On March 24, 2009, President Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office. However, his most recent budget proposal does the exact opposite.
On February 14, 2011, President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal. His proposal adds an additional $9.5 trillion to the national debt. Frankly, his proposal is unacceptable. It spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. In this important test of leadership, the President failed to do what he promised to do--tackle the urgent fiscal and economic threats facing our nation. American families have been tightening their belts throughout this economic downturn. It is past time for the federal government to cutback as well. Unfortunately, the President took the easy way out and doubled down on his spending spree.
Where the President's budget has failed, House Republicans will lead. The House Republican "Path to Prosperity" helps spur private job creation today, stops spending money we don't have, and puts us on the road to a balanced budget. Under Chairman Paul Ryan's leadership, we will cut $6.2 trillion in federal spending, strengthen our safety net, and reduce the tax burden.
For hardworking Americans, this isn't about politics. This is about putting our economy and nation first. This is about securing a prosperous future for the next generation. My top priority is to preserve the economic opportunities, personal freedoms, and individual liberties of our children and grandchildren. Tough decisions are ahead, but this is no time to shrink away from the challenge. The stakes are simply too high. With this budget, my Republican colleagues and I have taken the first step to meet that challenge. I look forward to the debates ahead as we continue to address our nation's long-term fiscal plan. Rest assured, throughout this debate, my goals will be to restore economic prosperity today and to ensure economic prosperity tomorrow.
Balance Budget Amendment
The proposed balanced budget amendment would require the federal government to balance its expenditures with its revenues. Unlike most states, the U.S. Constitution does not require Congress to pass a balanced budget, which remains one of the many reasons why our deficit is out of control. The Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States. Unfortunately, the borrowing is currently at unsustainable levels and our country has entirely too much debt.
I am a proud co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 1, which proposes a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. We need to take serious measures to reduce deficit spending and balance the federal budget while simplifying the tax code to allow businesses and households to thrive.
I voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 1, 2011. With a national debt that currently stands at $14.3 trillion, we needed a plan that solved the problems posed by both a potential default and Washington's spending habits. I concluded that many parts of this plan insisted upon by the President and Senate leadership took the easy way out, resulting in a compromise without real solutions.
The final bill did not include enough of the elements of my preferred "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill. "Cut, Cap and Balance" as well as the "Boehner Plan" required more immediate spending cuts, and that a Balanced Budget Amendment be passed and sent to the states before allowing the President to raise the debt limit a second time. Unfortunately, this requirement was left out of the compromise.
Additionally, the original "Boehner Plan" specified that defense cuts could not exceed three percent. However, the President insisted that as much as 50 percent of the cuts included in this bill could fall on defense, while failing to include spending reforms in the areas that are the true drivers of our deficit spending. The uncertainty surrounding the President's defense cuts could negatively impact Middle Georgia. I couldn't vote for a plan that might force our community to suffer and still kicks the can down the road.