Congressman Robert Hurt released the following statement after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered his semiannual report to the House Committee on Financial Services on the state of the economy:
"In a previous testimony before Congress, Chairman Bernanke rightfully coined the term "fiscal cliff" to describe what will happen after December 31, 2012, if Congress and the Obama Administration do not act to stop devastating across-the-board cuts and unprecedented tax hikes on the American people. In fact, as recently as this week, he urged the United States Senate to work with the House to avoid this fiscal cliff that we will face at the year's end.
"Allowing these massive tax hikes and this irresponsible budget gimmickry at a time when our economy is struggling with nearly $16 trillion of debt and a sustained unemployment rate of over 8% nationally is simply unacceptable.
"Each day that passes brings us one day closer to the December 31st fiscal cliff and greater uncertainty for the American people. With many areas of Virginia's 5th District suffering from unemployment rates far higher than the national average, the House has acted to avoid this dire situation. Over the past year and a half, we have remained committed to keeping taxes low so our families and small business owners will not suffer from additional burdens in this downtrodden economy. We have acted to repeal the massive tax scheme disguised as health care reform. And we have voted to stop the arbitrary, across-the-board cuts that among other things, will have devastating impacts on job creation, our national security, and our military men and women.
"Independently, crippling tax hikes and billions of dollars in indiscriminate cuts would devastate 5th District Virginians and Americans across this country; but together they will have a lasting economic impact for years to come. We can and we must turn the course, and it is my hope that the Senate will heed the warning of Chairman Bernanke, follow in the footsteps of the House, and act upon the wishes of the American people to work with us and put this nation on a fiscally sustainable course."