Monday, July 18, 2011

McConnell Calls ‘Cut, Cap, Balance’ Strong Medicine That Washington Needs

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Monday regarding the need to pass legislation that would cut government spending now, cap it in the future and approve a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget:

“This is a pivotal week for America.

“Two years of reckless spending and debt have brought us to the point of crisis. And this week, Americans will see how their elected representatives decide to resolve it.

“On the one side are those who believe that failing to rein in spending now could be calamitous, and that a government which borrows 42 cents for every dollar it spends needs to sober up. Washington needs strong medicine to heal its spending addiction now, not a false promise of it later.

“And on the other side are those who want to pretend the status quo is acceptable — that everything will be fine if we freeze current habits in place, raise job-killing taxes on small businesses, and do nothing about the long term fiscal imbalance that imperils our economy.

“Republicans have tried to persuade the President of the need for a course correction, but weeks of negotiations have shown that his commitment to big government is simply too great to lead to the kind of long-term reforms we need to put us on a path to balance and economic growth.

“So we’ve decided to bring our case to the American people.

“And that’s why this week, Republicans in the House and the Senate will push for legislation that would cut government spending now, cap it in the future, and which only raises the debt limit if it’s accompanied by a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget.

“The Cut, Cap, and Balance plan is the kind of strong medicine Washington needs and the American people want — and Republicans in both houses of Congress will be pushing it aggressively this week.

“I heard one of my Democratic colleagues say yesterday that the votes simply don’t exist to pass any bill in the Senate that balances the budget.

“My question is, why in the world not?

“If you can’t vote for a bill that says you’ll live within your means, then you’ve given up and you agree that the unsustainable path is the only one we have. And that’s completely unacceptable.

“Every single Republican in the Senate supports a Balanced Budget Amendment.

“All we need is 20 Democrats to join us. And by my count, at least 23 of them have led their constituents to believe they’d fight for it.

“So my message to Senate Democrats this week is this: I would suggest you think long and hard about whether you’ll vote for the Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation that the House is taking up tomorrow.

“Not only is this legislation just the kind of thing Washington needs right now, it may be the only option we have if you want to see the debt limit raised at all.

“The White House has called for a `balanced approach’ in this debate.

“Well, a bill that actually balances our books is coming to the Senate floor this week.

“I strongly urge my Democratic friends to join us in supporting it.

“Some have said they think this bill goes too far. With all due respect, I think most Americans believe Congress and this White House have gone too far in creating the fiscal mess we’re in.

“It’s time for real action. It’s time to show the American people where we stand. It’s time to balance the books.”