After intense negotiations and debate, the U.S. House of Representatives -- on a 218-210 vote -- today approved the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), who voted for the measure, said raising America's debt limit had to be tied to significant spending cuts to get her support:
"Before the clock strikes midnight on August 2, I remain optimistic that Congress will approve a debt ceiling plan which preserves the full faith and credit of the United States -- and we will do it without raising taxes.
"I believe the approach taken by Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership offers a viable blueprint for the future. It provides for immediate reductions in government spending and also places strict caps on future discretionary spending. Just as importantly, it requires both the House and Senate to have a straight up-or-down vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment, which will force the federal government to finally live within its means.
"Today, as a nation, we are borrowing 40 cents out of every $1 we spend. That's simply irresponsible and threatens the future prosperity of America. Our children deserve better. That's the clear message that I am hearing from voters all across the district, and that's why dramatically cutting non-essential federal spending -- no matter how difficult -- should remain our top priority.
"Since 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, but at no point in time have the stakes been higher for our nation. We can no longer afford to keep living on borrowed money. Within 25 years, interest on the national debt and entitlement spending will surpass all federal revenues unless we do something now. Today's vote was a rejection of "buy now, pay later' politics. Over the long run, America will be stronger and better off for it."