Lipinski Opposes Republican Budget-Slashing Plan that Would Hurt the Middle Class, Calls for Bipartisan Deficit Plan and Responsible Balanced Budget Amendment (July 19, 2011)

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-3) voted against H.R. 2560, a Republican spending bill making extreme budget cuts that would hurt the middle class, seniors, and job creation while protecting special interest tax loopholes. Lipinski called for Congress to pass a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit and ensure the government can meet its financial obligations.

“I have repeatedly called for a responsible deficit reduction plan to accompany an increase in the debt ceiling,” Congressman Lipinski said. “In May, I voted against a bill that would have raised the debt limit without making any spending cuts. In addition, I have repeatedly voted against irresponsible spending and have supported cuts in spending to reduce the deficit. But I cannot support an extreme proposal such as this bill that would slash support for working families, cost American jobs, and sharply raise costs for seniors on Medicare. H.R. 2560 would result in even deeper cuts to critical programs than the budget passed by the Republicans earlier this year. By taking the time today to vote on a bill that can never pass the Senate, House Republicans are refusing to acknowledge the reality that addressing America’s debt problem requires both parties to work together to craft a compromise that can pass both the House and the Senate and be signed into law by the President. As someone who believes it is critical that Congress and the American people are given ample time to study major legislation, I also wish to register my objection to the fact that a bill this consequential was called to the floor just four days after it was introduced, without a single hearing ever having been held on it.

“As part of my commitment to reining in spending, I am cosponsoring legislation to add an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget. While H.R. 2560 calls for a balanced budget amendment, the type of amendment it envisions is extremely problematic. In particular, it makes it extraordinarily difficult to close unjustified and unaffordable tax loopholes that benefit powerful special interests. In addition, it takes the unprecedented step of arbitrarily dictating spending levels to Congress and the American people.

“At this late date, with the August 2 deadline for a resolution to the debt ceiling issue looming, we cannot afford political gamesmanship that drives us apart rather than bringing us together. Almost two weeks ago, we learned that the economy created just 18,000 jobs in June. Given that we need to create 12 million jobs to return to pre-recession employment levels, that should serve as a wake up call for Washington. If we’re going to solve America’s fiscal problems and get people back to work, we need to stop the bickering, end the gridlock, and find common ground. I have offered a five-point jobs plan to do just that.”

Congressman Lipinski has been working to reduce deficits and prevent or eliminate spending the American people cannot afford. In April, he voted for the bipartisan budget compromise to prevent a government shutdown and reduce spending by approximately $38 billion. He also voted for all three short-term budget extensions, which together reduced spending by $12 billion. In December, he voted to trim spending by $40 billion compared to the President’s budget request. In addition, Lipinski did not vote for the $1 trillion health care law, the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, or the poorly designed $862 billion stimulus bill.

(July 19, 2011)