Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, who has been a leading advocate for restoring fiscal discipline in the 111th Congress, today introduced a measure to cut $3.37 billion from the FY2011 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Her proposed amendment will reduce total spending in this bill by five percent, pushing departments to prioritize cost-effectiveness and crack down on waste, fraud and abuse.
Rep. Kirkpatrick launched her "Do More With Less" Initiative last year to force Washington to make taxpayer dollars go further, helping combat the record budget deficit and fast-growing national debt. As part of this effort, she supported billions in cuts to 2010 appropriations bills and voted against two bills that increased spending on government operations. A year later, little progress has been made towards getting our fiscal house in order, and the Congresswoman is stepping up her push to change the way the federal government does business.
"Washington's spending is out of control, and folks on both sides of the aisle agree that we are heading towards an unprecedented fiscal crisis," said Rep. Kirkpatrick. "Congress has to show some restraint, and the federal government has to learn how to get things done more efficiently.
"There are plenty of folks in my district who are finding ways to pay their bills despite having lost their jobs or taking deep pay cuts. I have to believe that if they can make ends meet, the federal government can keep the important programs going with 95 cents out of each dollar."
While the bill reduces spending by $500 million from the current fiscal year, these programs still cost taxpayers almost $19 billion more than they did as recently as FY2008. Rep. Kirkpatrick is calling on Congress to step up and get the federal government back on track before working families pay the price.
"If we do not act, the national debt will become a dead weight dragging our economy down -- making it harder for folks to open a business, buy a car or send their kids to college. We need to start making the tough choices now," said Rep. Kirkpatrick. "The days of consequence-free spending in Washington are over, and Congress needs to show the people they get it."
In addition to this initiative, Rep. Kirkpatrick has earned national attention for her Taking Responsibility for Congressional Pay Act, which would cut pay for Members of Congress for the first time since the Great Depression. Her efforts also include standing up against the President and House leadership to oppose every single bailout considered by Congress in her first term. She was one of the earliest voices pushing for repaid bank bailout money to be used to pay down the debt and is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill to put her plan into practice.
Further, the Congresswoman has supported measures to re-establish the statutory "pay-as-you-go" requirement for Congress and was part of a bipartisan coalition that fought to give the independent debt and deficit reduction commission the power to get their critical job done. She sharply criticized the White House's FY2011 budget proposal and opposed a $1.9 trillion increase in the debt ceiling.