Debt Ceiling Update

As Congress continues to navigate this urgent and complicated debt crisis, you can count on me to do the right thing for the right reasons and to approach every vote as a free market, constitutional conservative. I have cosponsored a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution every session since 2001, and I am an original cosponsor of the Cut, Cap and Balance plan that puts America on track for a balanced budget. I will continue to strenuously oppose any tax increases, while pushing hard for massive spending cuts and enforceable spending caps.

My hero, Thomas Jefferson, once said, “Though you cannot see when you take one step what will be the next, yet follow truth, justice, and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth – the knot which you thought a Gordian one will untie itself before you.” Applying those basic principles will help avert a default, and ensure the deepest possible spending cuts and the strongest possible spending caps.

I also want to stress that none of the proposed plans will affect Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid for anyone age 55 or older. However, it would be tragically shortsighted not to reform these entitlement programs since they are unsustainable on their current path.

The gravity of a default is not lost on me, or our leadership. A 1% increase in interest rates will instantly wipe out the spending cuts while inflicting untold damage on our economy and our standing as the global financial leader and holder of the world’s reserve currency.

Unfortunately we fiscal conservatives are temporarily outnumbered in Washington, and we will have to reach some sort of agreement to avoid the catastrophe of default. Since the Democrat led Senate and the White House oppose both the Balanced Budget Amendment and the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan we passed out of the House, Speaker John Boehner’s latest plan appears our best option to avoid a default.

Speaker Boehner’s plan contains no tax increases and achieves 80% of the spending cuts set out in Congressman Paul Ryan’s conservative Roadmap budget plan adopted this spring. The Boehner plan also contains nearly $915 billion in spending cuts over 10 years. Speaker Boehner believes this is the largest cut we can hope to pass through the Democrat controlled Senate, and his plan also ensures that we will get a series of votes on different versions of the Balanced Budget Amendment, which gives us the best chance of sending it on to the States for ratification. The plan would require another vote on raising the debt limit in six months, providing another opportunity to achieve even larger spending cuts. I believe this plan is the best short term solution and it is absolutely imperative that we adopt it.

I am determined to leave America more free and more prosperous for our children and grandchildren just as our parents and grandparents did for us. I know the right thing to do is to cut spending and cut taxes but that is simply not possible with the current president and the current Senate, and we face a default deadline that must be met.

I am confident America will not default on its debt, but I cannot yet say which path we will take to get there. You should rest assured that I will stay true to my core principles as a Jeffersonian, free market constitutional conservative, and as he said, I am confident “the Gordian knot will untie itself.”

Thank you for entrusting me to represent you in the United States Congress.



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