Frankly Speaking: It’s Time To Cap Federal Spending
The New Year is here. Chances are, you may be working on your resolutions for self-improvement in 2012. Congress is already working on ways to operate more effectively and efficiently this year, too.
I serve on the House Budget Committee, and we’re actively responding to Granite Staters’ desire for meaningful reform and improvement of the budgetary process. A few weeks ago, we introduced a package of ten bills that address all aspects of the spending procedure, from the way Congress crafts the government’s budget to improving transparency and accountability. I will be talking to you about them in more detail later on as we get deeper into the process of writing a budget for FY 2013. For now, let me tell you about my involvement with one of these bills. It’s called the Spending Control Act, and it is an important component of this reform package.
Thoughtful Americans agree that spending has spiraled out of control in recent years. They want Congress to slam on the fiscal brakes and stop the red ink from flowing.
The Spending Control Act delivers on that desire by building on the spending caps that House Republicans instituted last summer in the Budget Control Act.
More than 60% of the budget is in the form of mandatory spending that is currently outside of Congress ability to control. You might say it’s on “autopilot,” because it continues to grow with no government oversight. That violates the intentions of our Founding Fathers, who clearly stated in the Constitution that Congress has control over federal spending. Period.
The Spending Control Act would also impose strict, binding limits on federal spending and deficits. If a certain program is growing faster than inflation, the spending cap would be enforced with an automatic cut (called a sequester) of up to 4%. Any discretionary spending program, including Defense, and the autopilot spending programs mentioned earlier, including Medicare, Medicaid and other direct spending, would be susceptible to sequester should their expenditures exceed those set in the House-passed budget resolution. No ifs, ands or buts.
If that weren’t enough, this legislation would also cap total federal spending as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Its goal is to reduce spending from the current all-time high of 25% of GDP to a more sustainable level over the coming decade.
The Spending Control Act would not only return the budgeting process to operating within constitutional limits once more, it would also give Congress the chance to address the costly programs that keep driving spending higher year after year. Once that authority is returned to Congress, Representatives and Senators would no longer be able to shrug their shoulders in resignation. The power to control spending would be squarely in their hands, and they would be held directly accountable for doing something about it.
The Spending Control Act delivers the serious response to this problem that Americans are demanding. With the national debt now $15 trillion and counting, we can’t afford to wait any longer. With your support, Congress can pass the Spending Control Act and finally make them a out of control spending a thing of the past.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington. In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov. You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.