Duckworth Calls for Fiscal Responsibility During Lunchtime Speech
Candidate continues to press for end to "earmarks", return to "pay as you go" budgeting
Tammy Duckworth, candidate for Congress in Illinois' 6th district, put forward her agenda today bring greater fiscal discipline to Washington, calling the nation's exploding deficit and historic debt levels "immoral" and stressing that members of both parties must take action to correct the federal spending crisis.
"In six short years, we've gone from healthy surpluses to $400 billion deficits. We're now approaching a record $ 9 trillion federal debt -- the biggest in history by far," Duckworth said during remarks delivered this afternoon to the Rotary Club of Bloomingdale / Roselle.
"This isn't just immoral. It's a real danger to our economic security as a nation," she said.
Throughout the campaign, Duckworth has been an outspoken advocate on the need for reforms to cut the deficit. For instance, she has aggressively pushed for an end to Congressional earmarks. During her remarks Tuesday, she called earmarks "just another word for pork barrel spending that doesn't go through the normal budget process." She cited the fact that lawmakers' use of earmarks skyrocketed from 1994 to 2002, representing a 400 percent increase during that period.
Duckworth's opposition to earmarks stands in stark contrast to the position taken by her opponent, state Sen. Peter Roskam, who has defending the widely discredited practice.
She also called for return to "pay-as-you-go" budgeting rules, which were instituted under former President George H.W. Bush and helped lead to deficit reductionand even surplusesduring the 1990s. Revoking such rules six years ago led to "disastrous results," she said.
Earlier this week, Duckworth wrote to Roskam challenging him to take a position regarding the restoration of "pay-as-you-go" budgeting and to endorse other measures to control spending.
In her speech, Duckworth also called for legislative oversight of costly government contracts now funding operations in Iraq. She recalled her firsthand observations, based on her own service in Iraq, where she saw "millions of hard earned-tax dollars being spent with any accountability."
"Let me emphasize that I don't view this as a partisan issue," she added. "It's an issue of taking responsibility for our nation's fiscal health. All Americans - of all parties - need to work together to solve it."