Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH)

(Washington, D.C.) – “Today, Congress is facing an unprecedented debt crisis, and few – if any – members in either chamber have shown more leadership on this issue than Charlie Bass,” said former U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), President and CEO of Main Street. “Charlie Bass has been one of the most important voices pushing for a return to fiscal sanity in Washington.”

“As the former President of the Republican Main Street Partnership, Charlie understands the need to build bipartisan consensus to tackle the serious challenge faced by this current debt crisis, and on a wide range of issues important to American families, taxpayers Charlie’s leadership on this, and other issues critical to average Americans,” continued Davis.

“Main Street is lucky to count Charlie Bass among our members and the people of New Hampshire are fortunate to have him as their voice in Washington,” concluded Davis.

Representative Charlie Bass (R-NH)

Charles F. Bass was elected to represent New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District in November 2010.

Bass has a long record of public service in New Hampshire. He previously represented the Second Congressional District from 1995 to 2007 and championed a number of initiatives important to the people of New Hampshire, including expanding broadband access to rural communities, preserving New Hampshire’s scenic environment, and promoting clean, alternative energies that will lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil. In the 112th Congress, Bass was appointed to serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, allowing him to effectively represent the needs of the Granite State.

Prior to being re-elected to Congress in 2010, Bass served on the Board of Managers at New England Wood Pellet in Jaffrey, one of the leading producers of clean-burning wood pellets, and was a senior advisor to Laidlaw Energy Group, a company that initiated the project to convert the former Fraser Pulp and Paper site in Berlin to a clean, wood-chip burning energy plant.

Early in his public service career, Bass served in the New Hampshire Legislature as a State Senator for two terms, and before that, as a State Representative. After graduating from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974, Bass worked for former Maine Reps. William Cohen and David Emery.

BASS POLICY PRIORITIES

Noting that out-of-control federal spending, huge debts, and unsustainable deficits threaten our nation’s economic growth, Bass continues to work with his colleagues to reform the way Washington spends taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.  He has sponsored legislation to create a select Committee in the House whose sole function would be to find ways to eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in the federal government.  Bass also supports streamlining the budget process to allow for biennial budgeting and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

Bass believes that a diverse and sustainable energy portfolio is vital to ensuring our nation’s energy security and lessening our dependence on foreign sources of oil, in addition to helping the private sector create jobs and grow our economy.  He continues to support legislative initiatives to expand research into new, alternative energies as well as energy efficiency programs.  He is also fighting to protect New Hampshire’s and our nation’s environmental treasures by supporting conservation easement tax deductions, providing sufficient funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and expanding recreational opportunities in our national forests.

# # #

The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) is dedicated to promoting and building a pragmatic, thoughtful, fiscally conservative, and inclusive “Governing Majority,” where political debate is encouraged to promote solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. Embracing the full spectrum of center-right ideologies and values in order to build coalitions, RMSP is the largest organization of elected leaders who are in the mold of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan. For more information on RMSP, visit our website at www.republicanmainstreet.org.

Politicos agree: GOP field leaderless

Tom Davis Discusses Debt Ceiling on MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown

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The Wall Street Journal: Sen. Snowe: The Only Reform That Will Restrain Spending

July 7, 2011

By OLYMPIA SNOWE And JIM DEMINT

Whatever happens when President Obama meets with congressional leaders of both parties at the White House today, no long-term solution is on the table for the spending habits in Washington that have endangered the prosperity of future generations. With our federal debt exceeding $14 trillion—nearly 100% of our gross domestic product—fiscal calamity is jeopardizing our standard of living and undermining our national security. And President Obama recently requested that we add an additional $2.4 trillion to our debt.

There has to be another way, and there is. Republicans in the Senate are united in our concern about our nation’s fiscal future. Before we consider saddling our children with even more debt, we must enact significant spending cuts and enforceable caps on future spending. For the long term, to prevent both this Congress and its successors from hijacking the promise of American prosperity, we also need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, like the one we and all 47 Senate Republicans have introduced.

The American people who will vote on such an amendment understand the basic financial rules that Washington has been breaking. In the real world, if a household brought in $44,000 annually but spent $74,000 by borrowing $30,000 each year to sustain its spending habits, such behavior would be considered reckless and irresponsible.

Nonetheless, the federal government is doing exactly that on an unimaginable scale, running historic deficits in excess of a trillion dollars for three consecutive years and borrowing 40 cents for every dollar spent. Our government has balanced its budget only five times in half a century.

The U.S. currently spends an astounding $200 billion per year just to pay interest on its debt, an annual amount projected to reach nearly $1 trillion by 2021. Money spent on debt-interest payments is money not invested in our economy, jobs, infrastructure or education. Economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have found that gross debt levels above 90% of GDP slow economic growth by 1% per year. First-quarter GDP growth this year was already abysmal at 1.9%. At that rate, China would surpass the U.S. economy in size even before 2016, the year recently forecast by the International Monetary Fund.

If Congress increases our national debt ceiling next month without permanent, structural budget reforms, we will signal to taxpayers and bond markets alike that Washington is still in denial. Whatever agreement is reached, everyone will know that future Congresses are not obligated to follow it. As a result, the only way to compel lawmakers to maintain their responsibility forever is a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Why will this approach work where others have failed? For one single reason: As senators and representatives, we take an oath to uphold the Constitution. By amending the Constitution, Congress will be forever bound to match our nation’s expenditures with our revenues. Toothless resolutions and statutory speed bumps have proven easy to evade or ignore. Indeed, the reason many lawmakers don’t want a balanced budget amendment is the exact reason why we need it: It would permanently end the types of legislative trickery that have now brought our country to the fiscal brink.

The last time the Senate considered a balanced budget amendment was on March 4, 1997—and it failed to pass by one vote. On that day 14 years ago, the nation’s outstanding debt was $5.36 trillion. Today it is $14.3 trillion, or nearly three times that amount.

In the Constitution, our forefathers established a brilliant blueprint that has withstood the test of time and become a beacon for others to follow. What the Founders did not anticipate was that a nation built upon the premise of individual freedom would become shackled by a government of chronic debtors.

A constitutional amendment to balance the budget is imperative if we are to provide continuity of fiscal responsibility, and ensure we never return to the recklessness of the past and present. It’s time Congress passed the amendment and gave the states—and “We the People”—their say.

Ms. Snowe is a Republican senator from Maine, and Mr. DeMint is a Republican senator from South Carolina.

 

Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

Investors.com: Politicizing The Green Debate

July 5, 2011

There’s a troubling irony in today’s vigorous debate about environmental policy. Some of the most vocal groups clamoring for a cleaner planet are also the ones stalling progress toward that same goal.

A closer look at contemporary interest-group politics reveals why this is the case.

Republicans and Democrats both desire cleaner air and water. As policymakers we debate the best way to achieve these goals, balancing environmental progress with economic costs.

We consider and weigh multiple objectives: grow jobs, expand the economy and protect the planet. While not always agreeing on the means, we share the same aspirations.

But some environmental groups have narrower purposes. All private lobbying organizations do. After all, that’s why they are called “special interests.”

And these special interests are operating in an increasingly competitive lobbying realm in Washington — a world where getting on the agenda often requires hefty financial resources and clever political strategies.

These realities not only shape their tactics, but also slow real progress toward cleaner air and water. Today’s environmental lobby produces gridlock and hardened positions in Congress rather than common ground. That’s because they frame issues in extreme terms to capture attention in an increasingly competitive policy and media environment.

Given the sluggish pace of the economic recovery, stubbornly high unemployment, today’s massive federal debt crisis and the ongoing controversy about health care, it’s difficult for the environmental lobby to get attention. Moreover, today’s fragmented media culture of blogs, online publications and cable news only adds to the environmental lobby’s woes.

We live in a world with “a surplus of information and a deficit of attention,” as one political strategist described it recently. How do you break through? Using hyperbolic language is one way. That’s why bipartisan legislation to block controversial and costly green house gas rules is called “dismantling the Clean Air Act.”

Even though the Environmental Protection Agency has said carbon and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) do not have any direct health effects on illnesses like asthma, lobbying groups like the American Lung Association charge that failing to regulate GHGs will cause a cascade of sickness.

What’s worse, these groups solicit and receive millions of federal dollars to spread their misleading messages. These tactics are intended to produce media hype and provocative headlines, not tell the truth.

Here’s an example from my home state. Last year a faulty oil pipeline ruptured in southwest Michigan, spilling more than 20,000 barrels of crude into the Kalamazoo River.

This unacceptable tragedy underscored the need for significant updates to our current pipeline safety regulations, which my committee plans to undertake this year.

Instead of coming to the table with constructive ideas, these groups are using this disaster to foment opposition to the Canadian Keystone Pipeline project, which promises to create 100,000 jobs and reduce our dependence on oil from hostile nations by 1 million barrels a day.

Creating threatening foils also boosts interest group fundraising.

Environmental lobbyists know that stoking fear is the best way to put money in their bank accounts. Generating a good vs. evil narrative that creates a caricature of business barbarians at the gate motivates environmental donors.

Over the past two years, the EPA has released an unprecedented fusillade of regulations aimed at controlling a range of criteria pollutants (SOx, NOx) and GHGs. At the same time it has proposed regulations to clamp down on utilities, industrial boilers, cement manufacturers and more.

Again, Republicans and Democrats alike would like to see steady progress toward reducing pollution from all these sources with common sense, balanced policies.

But the extreme environmental lobby has its own ideological agenda. They demand we do it all now and in the most extreme way possible — irrespective of practicality or cost to jobs and the economy.

Some claim it’s literally impossible to meet all the simultaneous demands made by the environmental lobby given the current level of raw materials and vendors.

From an economic standpoint, it’s too much at once. Many Americans understand this reality and support a positive, balanced approach to steady progress.

But fewer people grasp the political implications of the environmental lobby’s demands: They result in system overload, which in turn produces gridlock.

The tactics of environmental interest groups shatter any hope of finding common ground.

They are divisive, shrill, disingenuous and inaccurate. They halt progress toward the goal of a steadily improving environment, because they are more intent on inflaming and distorting the public debate and filling their organizations’ coffers than steadily and practically advancing toward a cleaner environment. It is ironic and sad, but unfortunately the truth.

• Upton, a Republican, represents Michigan’s 6th congressional district and is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Courtesy of Investors.com

Roll Call: Camp Runs Ways and Means Quietly

June 20, 2011

He might be one of the most powerful men in Washington, but you wouldn’t know it to look at Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp.

Unlike predecessors such as Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), the Michigan Republican isn’t known for a bombastic style, opting instead for a more measured approach.

And that, those who know Camp say, is the secret to his success.

“Members just like Dave. He’s got a good way about him. He knows his stuff, he does his homework,” said Jack Howard, a lobbyist with Wexler & Walker.

“He is a very thoughtful and deliberative guy,” Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said of Camp in a recent interview.

A lobbyist who works on issues before Camp’s committee said bluntly, “You shouldn’t mistake a lack of bombast for a lack of effectiveness.”

Howard, who has known Camp since he was elected 20 years ago, said the Representative is particularly well-suited to the new regime of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has emphasized a more traditional, committee-driven approach than has been used in recent years.

“In a way, he’s reflective of the Boehner leadership style,” Howard said. “Just get the job done.”

Camp says that while there is a place for partisanship and messaging, his approach to running the committee is about results.

“I think my style is closer to [former Rep.] Bill Archer’s style,” Camp said, referring to the Texas Republican who chaired the committee from 1996 to 2001. Like Camp, Archer was a social and fiscal conservative in many ways. But particularly in the later years of his chairmanship, Archer built a reputation for attempting to find ways around partisan gridlock, working with Democrats and Republicans alike.

Camp’s agenda is simple: “Mine is focused on solutions and getting things done,” he said.

So far this year, that strategy has given Camp a bit of a dubious distinction, being one of the few chairmen to author policy legislation that has been signed by President Barack Obama.

While the Energy and Commerce Committee, Natural Resources Committee and other panels have focused on red-meat agenda items, Camp quickly pushed through repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement, a key component of Obama’s health care reform law that was deeply unpopular with small-business owners because it would have dramatically increased the amount of information that they would file to the IRS. Unlike virtually every other GOP effort to repeal all or part of that law, Camp’s bill found broad bipartisan support.

“We’re the only committee to have the president repeal a part of his health care bill,” Camp said proudly.

To be sure, things have not been altogether smooth for the committee, and Camp has had his share of failures. In February, conservatives rallied against a key trade bill that he and other rust-belt lawmakers supported. Extending the Trade Adjustment Assistance programs, which provide education and training for workers displaced by trade deals or outsourcing, was opposed by conservatives who balked at the cost.

Camp and House leaders thought they had sufficient support for passage but learned just hours before a scheduled vote that conservative defections were mounting. In an embarrassing defeat, the bill was pulled from the floor.

The second setback came last month, when Camp tried to move legislation overhauling unemployment insurance. That bill would use block grants to the states to pay for the program and has the backing of many conservative activists.

But Camp and Cantor were again forced to scrap a vote after a briefing for freshman lawmakers in which it became clear that support for the bill wasn’t there. Although Members complained about not understanding the measure, aides familiar with the situation said Camp had fallen victim to circumstances beyond his control.

At the same time that he was looking to move the bill, Democrats were hammering the GOP over Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (Wis.) sweeping changes to Medicare, and Republicans were spooked by anything resembling that proposal’s block-grant plan.
Still, Camp said he has been pleased with the committee’s work thus far, particularly on difficult issues.

“We’re making good headway” on free-trade agreements, tax reform and other areas, he said.

But even when he acknowledges some problems, Camp makes no apologies for trying to push difficult bills. He said he is willing to risk hiccups to reform the way government works. On the unemployment bill, for example, Camp said the failed effort wasn’t wasted.

“Every time you do something like that, the paybacks are there,” he said. “They may not be there on day one.”

Courtesy of Roll Call

CNN: Get real about divided government

June 13, 2011

Washington (CNN) — In the euphoria of the historic Republican wins in the 2010 midterms, much was made, and rightfully so, of the new influence of conservatives on Capitol Hill.

The November midterms gave Republicans control in the House of Representatives and dramatically increased their influence in the Senate. But these elections did not give Republicans control in Washington — power has been divided between the parties, as has often been the case.

It is time that the hyper-partisans on both sides of the political aisle recognize the realities of the choice the voters have made. Having thrown the Republicans out of office in 2006 and 2008, they did not vote to embrace an agenda they had rejected in 2010. Instead they voted to balance government.

Single-party rule in Washington failed for voters, but divided government doesn’t have to meet the same fate. By recognizing the political realities of divided government and by working together we can make Washington work. At the end of the day, a government that works is what Americans expect and deserve.

With the financial markets on shaky ground, with new disappointing jobs numbers, with instability continuing in the housing market and as we stare at an unprecedented debt crisis — we have no choice but to make Washington work.

To make Washington work, however, we need to end the partisanship simply for the sake of partisanship. We need leaders who will focus on delivering results, not more election-year rhetoric. We need to recognize that compromise isn’t surrender.
Our economy continues to struggle, and far too many Americans are either unemployed or fighting just to make ends meet. Health care costs continue to skyrocket.

We are facing a historic fiscal crisis as mountains of unsustainable debt pose a real and present danger to our country’s future. We remain overly reliant on foreign oil as we struggle to find a way to energy independence that protects our environment and creates — rather than destroys — American jobs.

These are serious challenges that we face, but they are not insurmountable. The truth is that every time Americans have come together in the face of adversity — whether in times of war, national tragedy or economic crisis — we have conquered it. By coming together, and putting politics aside, we can find common-sense solutions to all of these challenges.

Indeed, there is broad bipartisan consensus around many of these critical issues. We need leadership in Washington, however, that has the courage to stand up to the extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. These extremists are far more interested in fighting the “good fight” than they are in winning that fight.

We know that we will be forced to raise the debt ceiling, but we also know that we cannot continue to spend money we simply do not have. The debt ceiling vote should give serious people on both sides of the ideological divide an opportunity to show that they understand the urgency of this problem. We can and should pass a debt ceiling increase that begins to cut spending, rather than simply writing more blank checks for Washington.

Additionally, the Simpson-Bowles commission provides an important bipartisan framework for tacking the growing problem of deficit spending. While not a panacea, the Simpson-Bowles commission does represent an important first step.

Simpson-Bowles calls for discretionary spending cuts, tax reform, as well as important entitlement reforms. The plan is a recognition of the seriousness of the problem and at least the beginning of a comprehensive look at how we will deal with this issue in the short, medium and long term.

Consensus can and should be built around lowering health care costs through common-sense approaches such as medical malpractice reform, increased access to health savings accounts, and by promoting competition to lower health care premiums.
Instead of pushing for a politically divisive cap and trade scheme to deal with energy and the environment, we should instead focus on areas where there is broad agreement — such as expanding the utilization of domestic resources.

Finally, if last year’s election taught us anything, it is that nothing is more important to voters than the economy. We built bipartisan compromise around extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and we should continue to work together to lower taxes, help struggling small businesses and unleash the power of the American entrepreneurial spirit.

It is a new chapter and one filled with new opportunities. Let’s show the American people that this Congress will put them first. Let’s prove the cynics wrong and work together to meet the challenges our country faces.

Courtesy of CNN

Weekly Republican Address 6/11/11: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)

Roll Call: Senators Try to Revive Bipartisan Spirit

June 7, 2011

While Democrats and Republicans talk shop in partisan lunches throughout the week, Sens. Mark Kirk and Joe Manchin look forward to their weekly lunch date.

In a throwback to a more bipartisan era, the Illinois Republican and West Virginia Democrat have, for more than two months, met for a little cross-party chitchat. They’ve invited colleagues to join them. So far, few have.

It’s an oft-told story, but the Kirk-Manchin lunches are a reminder that Congress is no longer the bipartisan place it used to be. Aside from a few basketball games in Congressional gyms and the weekly bipartisan prayer breakfasts, Members have few opportunities to strike up friendships across the aisle.

The two freshmen started the lunch meetings in March for this very reason. They began meeting in the often-deserted Senate Room 113, a small dining area which staff sets daily with white tablecloths, glasses and silverware.

“It was like a museum piece: Set up every day for Members that never showed up,” Kirk said. “My main man Manchin and I have adopted that room on Thursdays.”

In the months since, they’ve extended personal invites to other Senators and sent reminder emails, but they can count on two hands the Members who have joined their bipartisan lunches.
Sometimes they eat alone.

Former Rep. Bill Frenzel (R-Minn.), who served in the 1970s and 1980s, said Democrats and Republicans used to bond at the card table, in the gym, at the bar and on airplanes and buses.

In his day, paddle ball and basketball were popular. Members played on a daily basis, dividing teams by state, region, collegiate or party lines.

And when leadership called votes in the late afternoon, Frenzel remembers sweaty Members entering the chamber in sweat socks and tennis shoes to vote.

Committee members, he said, also traveled around the world together frequently to learn firsthand about policy issues. He joined Republicans and Democrats on trips to Brussels, Geneva and Japan at least once a year and fondly recalls plowing across Eastern Europe in an overcrowded bus with subcommittee colleagues and their wives.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who was first elected in 1955, used to fish and hunt geese with former Reps. John Saylor (R-Pa.) and Edwin Forsythe (R-N.J.). He also vacationed in Colorado, Montana and Texas with a half-dozen Members of both parties.

Former Rep. Connie Morella (R-Md.) said 60 to 100 Members used to take retreats together in nonelection years when she was in office.

“They’d put us on a bus together, and we’d get away for a long weekend,” Morella said. “They’d invite speakers to talk to us about working together, and we’d do fun activities, have a nice dinner or play games in the game room.”

Morella said such friendships were critical for legislating.

“In those days, establishing those relationships was necessary because you knew you couldn’t get anything done if you couldn’t get a Member of the other party to sign on,” she added.

Some experts attribute the loss of cross-party activities to increasingly nasty politics, but just as many blame the lack of bipartisan activities on constituent demands and time constraints. Kirk argues it is a “direct result of President [Jimmy] Carter deregulating the airline industry” — which led to lower airfares.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who represented Illinois in the House in the 1960s, told Kirk that a flight from Washington to Chicago back then cost $1,500 while Members only made $30,000. It didn’t make sense to visit home while Congress was in session.

With today’s cheaper air fares, Members almost can’t afford not to go home.

“Not only do vulnerable House Members leave immediately for home, but the culture says that you’re almost a bad Member of Congress if you’re not on a plane within one hour of the last vote,” Kirk said.

That notion “ended the social fabric of the Congress,” he said, leaving little to no time for bonding.

Norm Ornstein, Congressional expert at the American Enterprise Institute and a Roll Call contributing writer, said Members’ family living arrangements have also contributed.

“It used to be the case that Members would move their families to Washington, and if they were here in Washington, they’d spend weekends together,” he said.

They also dined frequently with Members of the opposite party frequently. Former Sen. Fritz Hollings’ (D-S.C.) wife used to organize dinner parties for 10 to 15 Congressional couples, recalls Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). Each week, a different couple would host. But the tradition eventually died when Senate schedules grew too hectic for regular get-togethers.

These days, Members often leave their families at home to avoid being tagged a “Washington insider.”

“It’s not as if we’re strangers in the Senate,” said Alexander, who used to organize Tuesday bipartisan breakfasts for Senators. “We see each other all the time, but we don’t have many opportunities to get to know one another in-depth. …

What’s lacking are the opportunities for deep friendships across party lines, and there’s not as much of that today as there was 20, 30 or 40 years ago.”

Kirk said the little things add up.

“The reality is bipartisan cooperation and seeing eye-to-eye can be directly related to the amount of time you spend with each other,” said Kirk, who added that he and Manchin often discuss legislation on the budget and debt ceiling.

They’re not the only ones who’ve noticed that bonding time across the aisle often results in faster-moving legislation.

“The goal of the Senate is not to be bipartisan, but the Senate works a lot better when Senators know one another and understand what their common interests are,” Alexander said. “We can’t get much of anything important done unless Republicans and Democrats agree, and you’ve got to know each other before you agree.”

Alexander often hangs out at the bipartisan prayer breakfast and dines with Democrats such as Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.).

“We like to talk football, we’re from adjoining states, and we got elected in the same year. We enjoy having dinner together,” Alexander said.

Although his bipartisan breakfasts — once attended by 40 Members — grew “harder and harder to schedule,” Alexander hasn’t given up his hope of bringing Democrats and Republicans together. He now works with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to host wine-and-cheese receptions in the Rules Committee Room following Monday night votes. On average, 10 to 12 attend.

But the time issue always circles back. Alexander’s numerous experiences scheduling bipartisan events have taught him that bringing Democrats and Republicans together is no easy feat.

“Most of our days start at 6 a.m., and they’re not over until after dinner or at night,” he said. The Senate “is a busy group of 100 men and women, and it’s difficult to insert anything else into those schedules.”

“It’s hard for them to find free time,” said Morella, who is now an American University faculty member. “Situations don’t bring them together; it’s not their fault.”

Manchin said Members should make bipartisan activities a higher priority. He and Kirk plan to continue their bipartisan dates and hope their colleagues will eventually follow suit.

But in today’s Congressional culture, that’s improbable. After a recent luncheon, Manchin invited Kirk to a Democratic budget meeting. Kirk hesitated because the meetings are typically partisan affairs, but Manchin wanted to shake things up.

That turned out to be harder than they thought. When Kirk entered the room full of Democrats in the middle of Sen. Kent Conrad’s (D-N.D.) budget briefing, he was asked to leave. The meeting was “Democrats only.”

Courtesy of Roll Call

Upton Opposes “Clean” Debt Limit Increase

Washington, DC, May 31 – Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) praised this evening’s House vote to reject a so-called “clean” increase in the statutory debt limit, which would raise the debt limit without reductions in federal spending or budgetary reforms. The measure, H.R. 1954, would have provided for a $2.4 trillion increase to the nation’s already-historic $14.3 trillion debt limit – the amount necessary under the President’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2012. The increase was soundly rejected by a bipartisan vote of 97-318, with 82 Democrats and 236 Republicans voting in opposition.

“We can no longer afford to continue down the path to fiscal ruin by spending money we simply do not have,” said Upton. “Throwing another $2.4 trillion of debt at the problem will not put our nation’s fiscal house back in order. To protect our children and grandchildren from an avalanche of debt, we must push for dramatic cuts in spending as well as comprehensive reforms of both the federal budget and the overly burdensome tax code. Michigan families and small businesses have had to make difficult decisions to live within their means; it’s time for Uncle Sam to do the same. This vote certainly sends the signal that the spending and deficit eras of the past have to end.”

Courtesy of US Rep. Fred Upton