Blum Releases Statement on Debt Ceiling/Budget Deal
Today Congressman Rod Blum released the following statement about the vote in the House to suspend the debt ceiling and increase spending above the legal limits passed by Congress:
This deal is exactly what is wrong with Washington, DC. Negotiated behind closed doors and presented to Congress at the last minute, this bill leaves the American people out of the process of representative government.
This deal also irresponsibly eliminates the debt ceiling -- one of the critical mechanisms that protects American taxpayers -- until March of 2017. This means there will be literally no limit on what the federal government can charge to the taxpayer's credit card over the duration of the agreement. This is a dangerous step and I cannot support it: the national debt is over $18 trillion and the federal government already spends over $700 million every day on interest payments. It's high time the career politicians in Washington DC take our national debt seriously - as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs retired Admiral Mullen said: “the most significant threat to our national security is our debt”.
This agreement breaks the spending caps set by the Budget Control Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2011. These caps have been the only meaningful check on spending under the Obama administration and breaking them sends a message to the American people that we lack the political courage to live within our means. This deal adds $80 billion in spending over the next two years above the legal limits and breaks the budget passed by Congress earlier this year.
Like the typical Washington insider deal that it is -- this agreement is a “spend now save later” smoke and mirrors accounting gimmick. We are selling off strategic oil reserves, raiding the Social Security trust fund, and relying on "pension smoothing" and other budgetary tricks for the alleged future savings. Iowa's agricultural economy is also directly attacked by this bill by cutting crop insurance programs that so many Iowa farmers rely on.
The American people have to balance their budget at home and they deserve a federal government that does the same. I don’t think it’s too radical to ask Washington DC to only spend what it takes in -- just like Iowa families do.
Rod Blum is the Republican Congressman in Iowa’s 1st District. He is a member of the Budget and Oversight & Government Reform Committees.