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Changing the Culture of Spending


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The bipartisan agreement to fund the federal government which was reached on Friday, April 8 immediately cuts spending and provides a broader framework for even greater cuts for the remainder of the fiscal year. In short, it is a historic blow to the culture of spending in Washington.

Representing the largest year-to-year spending cut since World War II, the agreement will provide job creators with certainty and signal to the world we are serious about reducing the national debt. While this step is only the first on the long road to get our fiscal house in order, the agreement is a significant move in the right direction.

The bill, which will be voted on later this week, immediately will cut $38.5 billion in federal spending between now and September 30, 2011, the largest spending cut in American history. Furthermore, it stops hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending over the next decade. These reductions come just months after President Obama asked Congress for a spending "freeze" which would have essentially meant zero cuts.

Additionally, the agreement officially reverses the "stimulus" spending binge which began in 2009. The era of unprecedented government intervention in our economy, which economists agree hurts job creation by crowding out private investment, ends with this measure. It provides new tools to fight for repeal of the new health care law and denies additional funding to the Internal Revenue Service.

Even though these cuts are historic, they are woefully inadequate to cure the debt crisis driven by out-of-control spending because -- while historic -- they represent only a fraction of the problem. We cannot continue spending money we do not have. Borrowing 42 cents for every dollar the government spends and sending the bill to future generations is reckless. If Nebraska families are tightening their belts, Washington must do the same.

Our debt crisis did not arrive overnight, and it will not be solved by one single measure. However, this agreement sets the stage for trillions more in spending cuts as it clears the way for action on House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which was released on April 5, 2011.

Chairman Ryan's budget is honest with the American people about the difficult decisions which lie ahead. This proposal, which is being met with bipartisan support, would lift the crushing burden of debt by cutting trillions in spending, balancing the budget without raising taxes, and creating a long-term blueprint for job creation.

The conversation about getting our fiscal house in order is about more than just reducing the national debt. It is about restoring opportunity for future generations who deserve to be free from a life in government debt. Our responsibility to the American people is to work together to tackle the big problems we face today or face bigger problems tomorrow. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help pave a path to prosperity which continues cutting wasteful spending, keeping taxes low, and reducing the size of government.

For more information about this issue, the latest developments from Congress, or to sign up for my e-mail newsletter, please visit my website at

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