Clean up the federal deficit by tackling the budget

This week, the House and Senate passed, and the President signed, a Continuing Resolution to keep the government running another two weeks. This action was needed because last session, under Democratic leadership, Congress failed to act – it never brought a budget to the floor for a vote, despite passing a bill to keep the federal government running being one of the most important duties of a member.

It was the first time since the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, that neither the House nor the Senate were able to pass a budget.

The two-week budget cuts $4 billion from last year’s spending levels and also gives the Senate additional time to consider the House-passed H.R. 1 – a budget bill that would fund the government through September while also cutting spending.

The United States does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Our nation has a $1.65 trillion deficit. We spend way too much at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

Over the next few weeks, the budget, and all this spending, will continue to be a hot debate topic. To get our fiscal house in order, the House majority has pledged to cut up to $100 billion from the budget. I fully support this. All cuts help get our national deficit under control, but we need massive budget cuts.

In contrast to our spending cuts, President Obama recently released his budget, which increases spending. We have a large amount of debt; we pay interest on that debt, so I don’t understand why the President wants to spend more money when we continue to borrow nearly 42 cents on every dollar we spend – most of that being borrowed from China.

Cutting spending and getting our debt under control must be our priority. Since Republicans regained the majority we have honored our pledge to cut 5 percent from our own congressional offices, saving $35 million at the top, in addition to the money many offices, including mine, return to the treasury at the end of each session.

Furthermore, my colleague from Wisconsin, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, has been granted the power to impose spending limits, which will return agencies to pre-bailout and pre-stimulus levels. I pride myself on being fiscally responsible, and a key way to continue to be fiscally responsible is to rein in spending, cut the budget and ultimately cut our deficit.

We have staked the well-being of our nation on irresponsible spending. We run the risk of defaulting on our debt; we need to solve this issue. We must tackle the budget so that we may rein in federal spending.


Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner represents Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District.

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