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Goodlatte Supports Budget Control Act – Griffith Votes No

by Gene Marrano

Congressman Bob Goodlatte voted in support of the revised Budget Control Act which prevents the government from defaulting on current obligations while taking steps toward ending Washington’s culture of spending.  The legislation, which passed by a bipartisan vote of 269-161, contains a two-step process for cutting historic amounts of spending.  It cuts and caps government spending immediately.

“Today the House passed the revised Budget Control Act, which prevents the government from defaulting on our current obligations while taking the necessary steps to rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending,” said Goodlatte. “This legislation, which is the result of bipartisan negotiations, cuts more federal spending than it increases the debt limit and takes the critical first steps toward bringing fiscal responsibility back to Washington.”

The legislation will save $917 billion over 10 years in exchange for raising the debt ceiling by $900 billion until approximately February.  Before the debt ceiling can be raised again, Congress and the President must enact spending cuts at least as large as any potential increase in the debt ceiling.  The proposal requires that both the House and the Senate vote by the end of the year on a balanced budget Constitutional amendment, like the one Goodlatte introduced on the first day of the 112th Congress. Goodlatte was also pleased that the revised Budget Control Act accomplished all of these goals without raising taxes.

“With forty-nine out of fifty state governments, including Virginia, required to balance their state budgets, people are amazed that the federal government is not restrained in this way and strongly support a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” said Goodlatte.  “After all, living within your means is a concept that most Americans are all too familiar with and they expect nothing less from the federal government.”

Fellow Republican Morgan Griffith found himself on the opposite side of the vote, however, and had this to say about the legislation and his hope for further reform:

 “Last week I made the difficult decision to compromise and voted for Speaker Boehner’s plan. While the Boehner plan was not perfect, it was a realistic approach and a step in the right direction. Among other things, it required passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution before a second increase in the debt ceiling.

However, the legislation before us today was not quite as good.  By contrast, today’s deal only requires a Balanced Budget Amendment to be voted on – not passed.  I hope the Democrat controlled Senate will pass a Balanced Budget Amendment as a common sense solution to solve America’s debt problem, but it is far from certain. Additionally, there is a provision which, if there is congressional inaction, would allow President Obama to effectively raise the debt ceiling an additional $1.2 trillion, triggering an equal amount of blind cuts.

After thoroughly reviewing the legislation and hearing from constituents, I came to the conclusion that I should not vote for this bill.”

Griffith was one of 66 Republican members to oppose the Budget Control Act of 2011. ninety-five Democrats voted against the legislation.

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