This month, Washington politicians reminded Americans just how far they will go to cover their fiscally irresponsible tracks. After voting to increase the debt ceiling and create the Super Committee, these spend-borrow-and-spend-some-more politicians are now turning to conservatives like me to clean up their mess by voting for H.R. 5652.
When Senator Vitter and I voted against the Washington debt increase, we also voted against the creation of the now-failed Super Committee. The failure of the Super Politicians has now caused an automatic 10% cut to the Department of Defense budget. As I said when I voted against the debt ceiling increase -- kicking the can down the road is not the answer, and backroom Washington deals never work. This one was no different.
With automatic cuts facing our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines -- the House leadership brought up H.R. 5652, a bill that negates those cuts and replaces them with $315 billion in domestic spending cuts. While I always favor cutting wasteful government spending, I am disgusted by my colleagues' latest smoke screen on the American people.
If the Washington leaders supported the cuts contained in H.R. 5652 so much, why didn't they bring them forward last August instead of raising the debt ceiling? If they had, Congress would not have created the disastrous Super Committee in the first place.
But as we have unfortunately seen over the last 30 years, Washington skirted the government's spending problem instead of passing long-term solutions to end it. They punted our nation's problems to a small group meeting in secret. Most disappointing, they put Washington politics before our security and economic future.
As someone who came to Congress to focus on concrete solutions and make tough decisions, I have not and will not follow the status quo in Washington that led us to this irresponsible level of debt. I declined my Congressional health care and pension. I cut my office budget over 10% -- returning $160,000 to the taxpayers. And I am pushing legislation to end the Congressional pension program.
I will continue to think outside the Beltway to rein in the out-of-control government spending. I will continue to stand up to the Washington politicians to reduce the debt. And I will continue to fight for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution.
I hope the Washington politicians who voted for the debt deal will end the charades and gimmicks with the American people.
Representative Jeff Landry
Congressman, 3rd District of Louisiana