August 1, 2011
“I voted against the budget deal that passed the House tonight because it is a flawed piece of legislation that misses the chance to set the country on a balanced path toward fixing our long-term fiscal and economic problems.
“Over the course of recent negotiations, we had a real opportunity to implement a budget plan that raised the debt ceiling as part of a broader deficit-reducing deal that included cuts, revenue and reform. This plan, cobbled together at the last minute, misses that chance.
“Not only does this plan not address revenue, it also sets caps in broad areas of spending without specifying what programs will actually be cut, allowing lawmakers to once again kick the can down the road without confronting the realities of our budget situation. A more complete debt-reduction plan would have comprehensively addressed revenue, implemented reforms to entitlements, and cut discretionary spending in a responsible and balanced way.
“By focusing overwhelmingly on discretionary cuts, many of the important programs that have historically supported our robust middle class, built our economy, and created opportunities for the next generation are made vulnerable. Priorities such as scientific research, education, infrastructure, national security, and many others may face over an additional $1 trillion in devastating cuts, which would do significant harm to our already struggling economy. To prevent the worst of these cuts from taking effect, revenue must be on the table.
“Though flawed, this proposal will offer us yet another opportunity to address our budget problems through the newly established select committee. In December, we will face another deadline and engage in another debate that will offer us the chance to address our fiscal problems more wisely. I hope we use this time to bring everything to the table and get America back on the path to economic prosperity.”