By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
6th Congressional District
This last week President Barack Obama came to Capitol Hill to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress. The President articulated to the American people in very frank terms the challenges that our nation is currently facing but reminded us all that with hard work and determination Americans can overcome these challenges and create a brighter future.
President Obama laid out his agenda from addressing the economic crisis to health care reform to America’s energy policy. I particularly welcomed the President’s call for fiscal discipline. In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. American families and small businesses across this country are making sacrifices and cutting expenses and it is time the federal government did the same.
In stark contrast to President Obama’s call for fiscal responsibility, Democrats in Congress rushed through another massive spending bill, sinking us further into debt. Just one day after the President came to Congress to stress the importance of putting Washington’s fiscal house in order, the House of Representatives passed, without my support, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill which represents the largest increase in nonemergency federal spending since the 1970s. It includes an 8% increase in federal government spending and this is on top of the massive $1.1 trillion so-called economic stimulus bill that Congress passed just weeks ago.
More pork barrel spending is not what we need to get our economy back on track. The American taxpayer should not be forced to shoulder the burden of more wasteful government spending. Instead Congress must be willing to make the necessary and hard choices to bring fiscal responsibility to Washington. That’s why I strongly support freezing federal government discretionary spending at their current levels. Upholding the principles of fiscal responsibility and ensuring that the hard-earned dollars of taxpayers are spent responsibly are the only ways to strengthen our workforce, grow our economy and keep America competitive.
There are many differences between Republicans and Democrats but we can all agree that despite the challenging road ahead, Americans are more than equal to the task before us. I remain committed to working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to enact legislation which empowers American families and small businesses without expanding the government with increased taxes. This is the best way to promote jobs and strengthen our economy.
Cross-posted at SixtyFour81.com