In Washington much has been said our nation's debt ceiling -- our maximum borrowing authority. President Obama has called on Congress to quickly raise our borrowing limit well into the future. House Republicans are calling on Senate Democrats to pass a fiscally-responsible budget before raising the debt ceiling. Republicans and Democrats have both voiced concerns about the economic uncertainty our nation's $16.5 trillion national debt is causing. Uncertainty and economic calamity can be avoided if Congress passes permanent spending controls, like a Balanced Budget Amendment, to ensure all Americans the federal government will stop reckless spending.
Recently, I introduced the Restore Our Nation's Future Act that would require permanent spending controls be enacted before the debt ceiling could be raised. National polls have shown time and time again the vast majority of Americans support a Balanced Budget Amendment or some other type of spending control that will force future Congresses to live within our financial means. The only path to ensure laws do not expire or legislation is not overlooked, is to pass permanent spending controls.
Previous attempts to reign in federal spending have fallen flat. History has proven that statutory spending controls do not work and often are overridden by future Congresses. In 1985, the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act, which did reduce the deficit for a time, was part of a debt limit bill. The 1990s brought more deficit reduction measures when in 1990, 1993, and 1997 Congress linked the debt limit to deficit reduction attempts. In 2010, the Pay-As-You-Go Act again tried to reign in federal spending. Most recently, the debt limit was the focus of the 2011 Budget Control Act, aimed at saving $2.1 trillion over the next ten years. Almost every significant deficit reduction law of the past 30 years has been linked to a debt limit increase and the national debt has exploded.
The Restore Our Nation's Future Act would improve upon previous deficit reduction efforts. While statutory efforts to control spending have been changed over time, the Restore Our Nation's Future Act would be a binding, unbending addition to the Constitution that could not be ignored or altered. Temporary laws are not the solution to our nation's long-term economic health. If we want to ensure our nation's place as the World's only remaining super power, we must take decisive action to end deficit spending.
For years, Democrats and Republicans have spent more money than what was coming into the federal coffers. Instead of blindly raising the debt ceiling yet again, Congress must address the underlying issue -- we do not have any binding measures in place to keep Congress from spending money that we do not have. Restore Our Nation's Future Act could be the catalyst that stops our national debt from growing each day and gives America's entrepreneurs and small business owners the confidence they need to invest in our country and spur economic growth.