A two year budget deal that sets spending levels through FY 2017, lifts the debt ceiling, and suspends portions of the sequester but offsets the additional spending with cuts to mandatory spending passed the house late this afternoon by a vote of 266-167. 79 Republicans voted yes, while 198 voted no. All 167 Democrats voted yes. For the Georgia delegation, all Republicans voted no, while all Democrats voted yes.
Georgia’s GOP representatives were quick to respond.
First District Rep. Buddy Carter:
The national debt is the greatest threat to our national security and threatens to leave our children and grandchildren with a life indebted to China. There are good and much needed reforms in this deal that I fully support and I applaud those who worked so hard to negotiate it. That said, it falls woefully short when it comes to the kind of structural reforms necessary to prevent Washington’s spending addiction from bankrupting the American Dream.
Third District Rep. Lyn Westmoreland:
I could not vote for a budget that doesn’t address the real spending problem in Washington today. 86 percent of savings in direct spending in the Bipartisan Budget Act doesn’t occur until 2025. We are over $18 trillion in debt and there are more government programs than money to fund them. To me: it’s not ‘savings’ until its actually saved. I understand the Bipartisan Budget Act was intended to halt budget negotiations with President Obama for the next two years but it does so at the expense of my grandchildren, and that is something I just couldn’t agree to.
Seventh District Rep. Rob Woodall:
When House conservatives were successful in implementing the Budget Control Act in 2011, the goal was not simply to limit federal spending, but also to repair and restore important programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and veterans services. The emergence of H.R. 1314 is proof that the plan – mandatory reforms in exchange for sequester cap relief – is working. Unfortunately, H.R. 1314 lifts spending caps without introducing timely spending and programmatic reforms.
“I’m proud of the progress we’ve made in reducing federal discretionary spending over the last four years, but the truth remains we have much more work to do – and until we address our mandatory spending programs, we are ignoring the real problem. I’m eager to continue the work of crafting meaningful, long-term solutions to our fiscal problems, but I believe we can do better than this budget agreement.
11th District Rep. Barry Loudermilk:
When President Obama assumed office in 2009, our national debt hovered around $10 trillion – much less than today’s $18 trillion debt. For a president who campaigned on change, he’s sure not leaving a lot of spare change for the American people.
We must pay off the debt we owe and find a way to stop the financial bleeding. Unfortunately, the bill that passed the House today is not the way to accomplish this goal. This bill would raise the debt ceiling until March of 2017, and give the Administration a blank check to continue its reckless spending, while failing to make corresponding spending cuts.
This secretive deal making is not in the best interest of American taxpayers. Federal spending must be put through the proper budget process, not pushed through the House by a select group of power brokers with no input from the majority of members. The American people deserve a transparent process with careful deliberation and judicious review of all budgetary line items, especially as it pertains to our national defense. Passing this budget without completing the National Defense Authorization Act is like writing a blank check to Obama to run the military with no direction from Congress.
In addition, this bill does not go far enough to enact enforceable spending reductions or provide real solutions to resolving our ongoing budget crisis. This legislation would defy previously established spending caps by $50 billion for FY16 and by $30 billion for FY17. The average American citizen is now responsible for more than $57,000 of our national debt, resulting from many years of deficit spending. Rather than continuing on the current path of out-of-control spending that will pass the burden on to future generations, we must adhere to current spending caps, prioritize our nation’s most critical programs, and cut wasteful spending.
We’ll add additional statements as they arrive.