The House of Representatives passed a spending and deficit-reduction plan known as the ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance Act’ yesterday in a party lines 234-190 vote. The bill’s title refers to $100 billion in federal spending cuts for the fiscal year 2012, a cap on overall spending as a percentage of GDP, and a requirement to pass an amendment requiring the budget be balanced before moving to raise the debt ceiling.
The bill boasted heavy support from House freshmen, particularly those aligned with the Tea Party, and including prominent conservative Rep. Paul Ryan. Both of New Hampshire’s Congressmen cast votes in favor of the legislation. Let’s see what they had to say about it:
2nd District Rep. Charlie Bass released the following statement immediately after the vote:
“I did not come back to Congress to sit idly and let the status quo of out-of-control federal spending destroy our children and grandchildren’s futures. I am here because we need to make tough choices now, not later.
We can let the federal spending spree continue, or we can do something about it. This legislation does something: it brings federal spending to pre-stimulus levels, enacts reasonable spending caps, and requires the federal government to live within its means, just like families across New Hampshire do every day. Congress needs to show the American people it has the discipline to solve our spending crisis, whether it’s with this legislation or another responsible plan. And we need to start today.”
1st District Congressman Frank Guinta was a co-sponsor of the bill, so his vote was never in question. He focused his comments on President Obama’s immediate threat to veto the bill if it were to get through the Senate, which has been spoken of as unlikely given the Democratic majority. Rep. Guinta’s comments are as follows:
“According to President Obama, Washington doesn’t need a constitutional amendment to rein in spending and reduce our debt and deficit. Coming from an Administration that has run up our nation’s credit card with an additional $3.7 trillion in debt since he took office in January of 2009, this threat should come with no surprise.
The President’s veto warning further represents a failure of his ability to lead in these debt ceiling discussions. The American people are given two stark, drastically different choices. We can continue down the same failed tax and spend path that both parties have lead us down for years or we can fundamentally change track. We can turn our country toward the direction that Granite Staters have asked me to fight for – a course that reins in our debt and deficit, creates an environment that produces middle class jobs and finally forces the federal government to balance its budget like families across America do every day.”
The debate surrounding government spending, the national debt, and the budget will likely only intensify over the coming weeks as both parties struggle to find a solution to the debt ceiling crisis.