Friday, February 25, 2011

Putting an end to the spending spree

By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
R - VA 6th District

Today, Washington spends $7 million every minute of every hour of every day and to finance this spending addiction the government must borrow over 40 cents of every dollar spent. This has resulted in our national debt exceeding $14 trillion which is over $45,000 for every man, woman and child in America. It’s this kind of out-of-control spending, skyrocketing deficits, and massive growth in government programs that have increased economic uncertainty and prolonged our unemployment crisis.

Last week, the House of Representatives took its first major step in getting Washington’s fiscal house back in order by passing a bill which cuts over $100 billion in spending over the next seven months. This represents the largest discretionary spending cut in history. The legislation, which passed with my strong support, is needed to continue operation of the federal government through the end of this fiscal year. The continuing resolution reflects Washington’s need to make tough decisions about spending priorities, cutting wasteful programs, and respecting taxpayers’ wallets.

The over $100 billion in cuts to the federal budget represent tough choices, but we must take these necessary actions in order to protect the future of our country. Many federal programs have received funding increases over the last several years that outpaced both inflation and the growth of the American family budget. A thorough and careful review of all our federal agencies and programs must be done to root out any waste, fraud and abuse. We made a good start on that process with this bill. It is essential that the federal government work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it. It is the only way to restore confidence in America’s economic future.

Specifically the legislation will reduce domestic discretionary spending by $84 billion over the next seven months and it will reduce security related funding by $16 billion over the same time period. It does not, however, make any cuts to the vital funding for our men and women in uniform. Additionally, we voted to eliminate any unobligated “stimulus” funding which will save the taxpayers as much as $2 billion.

As elected officials and stewards of the taxpayers’ money, we have a responsibility to put together a sustainable federal budget and stick to it. I have consistently supported measures to rein in the federal budget and curb spending by voting for the tightest budgets and spending bills possible. I will continue working hard to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington by supporting legislation which tightens the budget and reduces wasteful spending. The passage of this continuing resolution is critical to ending the spending spree in Washington and getting our economy moving in the right direction. Ultimately, we must make the tough decisions necessary to balance our budget and pass a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, helping to assure that future governments live within their means.

To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at

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