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Serious, Long-Term Plan Needed to Tackle Nation's Debt Problems


Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) released the following statement regarding this evening's vote:

"In 1997, the Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution passed the House of Representatives, but fell one vote short of passage in the United States Senate. That year the national debt was $5.4 trillion. Since that failure, the national debt has grown by 265% to more than $14.3 trillion -- $4 trillion of that debt having been accumulated in just the past 32 months.

"Had Washington approved a Balanced Budget Amendment in 1997, we would not be having this debate over the national debt today as spending in Washington would have been restrained. Clearly Washington is not the solution, but rather the problem.

"Monday, when I began to hear the details of the budget legislation coming to the House floor for a vote, I was concerned because it did not include a Balanced Budget Amendment. I have made the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment a top priority because I know what most Americans know, that it is the only way to stop Washington from spending money it does not have.

"The final revisions to the bill before us today would put in place the process for passing the Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment. Further decisions on the debt limit are contingent on the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment by the House and Senate within the next several months and sending it to the states for ratification. Washington is in debt because it has a spending problem, not a taxing problem.

"The bill also includes over $900 billion in spending cuts, building on the cuts that were enacted earlier this year. The spending cuts -- with enforcement mechanisms -- will result in over $900 billion in discretionary spending cuts over the next 10 years. The discretionary spending levels for FY2011, FY2012 and FY2013 are essentially frozen at FY2010 levels.

"Is this bill perfect? No, but it is a step in the right direction toward lower spending and a balanced budget. It is far different from what the President proposed earlier this year. He asked Congress to give him what amounted to a $2.4 trillion blank check, to continue to borrow and spend, which has led us to the precipice of default. It is time for Washington to do what American families have had to do -- tighten their belts.

"For me this is only the next step in restoring the American dream for future generations of Americans. Passage and enactment of the Balanced Budget Act is the next step in that process.

"I commend Speaker Boehner for his efforts in bringing this issue to the forefront, for filling the leadership void and for offering not one, but two concrete plans to address this problem. In contrast, the President has only offered empty rhetoric."

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