Cutting Spending When It Counts
The debt limit debate continues. As I write, let’s review.
House Republican plans: 1) Cut, Cap, and Balance; 2) Speaker Boehner’s plan of Monday, July 25
Senate plans: 1) Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan; 2) “Gang of Six” plan 3) Majority Leader Reid’s plan of Monday, July 25
President’s plan: PRICELESS (i.e. no plan) – Continue running up the government credit card with no controls
I am reviewing each plan to determine whether or not it will benefit the people of the 9th Congressional District and the United States long-term. Many of the plans have good components, and I am glad to see the Senate has finally joined the House in taking this matter seriously. I greatly respect House leadership for the efforts they have made and are making. I also would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that one of the few senators who has been working on our debt problem for months is “Gang of Six” member, Virginia Senator Mark Warner. While I do not always agree with him and do not like all aspects of the “Gang of Six” plan, he has at least recognized the need to deal with our nation’s debt problem.
The boldest plan offered to date would reduce spending by $111 billion next year. With the budget deficit for 2011 predicted to reach nearly $1.5 trillion and a national debt of roughly $14.3 trillion, we must cut more. To put these numbers into perspective, divide everything by $1 billion. Suppose that a family has a total of $14,300 in credit card debt, and each year they add $1,500 in new debt to the card. Cutting 111 dollars from this year’s new debt won’t be enough to make much difference.
It’s clear that Washington has a serious spending problem. The clock is ticking. Getting our debt under control will require that the White House come to the table and get serious about reducing the deficit. The President and Senate Democrats need to realize that if we continue borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend, America will not continue to be the number one nation in the world for long. This week the House will continue to work on a plan to solve our nation’s spending problem. I will keep you up to date on any progress in Washington.
EPA Regulatory Relief Act Gains Steam in Congress
While the debt limit takes center stage, I am still hard at work fighting for regulatory relief from the EPA and for jobs in the 9th District. In June, I introduced H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. A number of industries are concerned about the EPA’s Boiler MACT rules and the impact on jobs. The EPA itself has asked for 15 months to revisit its earlier set of rules, two of which the agency has recently delayed. The EPA Regulatory Relief Act grants the EPA the time they have requested to put forth regulations for non-utility boilers and incinerators that are practical and achievable and will also give the industry more time to comply with the rules. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to take up the EPA Regulatory Relief Act this fall.
To date, more than 85 of my colleagues, including 19 Democrats, have signed on as cosponsors of the EPA Regulatory Relief Act. These cosponsors represent districts from coast to coast that will be adversely affected by the EPA’s proposed regulations. I have been encouraged by the positive response to this legislation from various industries as well as the support from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House. In addition, H.R. 2250 is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Forest and Paper Association, and the American Chemistry Council.
As a signal of progress on this issue, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), along with a bipartisan group in the Senate, introduced similar legislation (S. 1392) to delay the Boiler MACT rules last week. I look forward to working with the Senate to ensure this regulatory relief bill becomes law in order to protect valuable American jobs.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Finance, National, Politics
Tags: budget, congress, party_politics, republican