Lipinski: Supercommittee's Failure to Achieve Bipartisan Agreement Shows Washington at its Worst (November 21, 2011)
“The American people are rightly disgusted with the failure of the members of the Supercommittee to meet in the middle and do the right thing for our country,” Rep. Lipinski said. “With unemployment stuck at 9 percent, we need leadership and a willingness by both sides to compromise. Instead, we get partisanship and intransigence. I’ve had enough, and I know the residents of the Third District have too, many of whom communicated their frustration with the lack of action in Washington at my Town Hall Meeting on Saturday. We’ve reached a point where Washington can’t even clear the low bar it sets for itself. This is the second time in less than a week that Congress has neglected to seize the opportunity to deal with the deficit, having previously failed to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, which I voted for.
“Earlier this month, I joined 101 of my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to urge the Supercommittee to seek a bipartisan grand bargain to reduce the deficit by the $4 trillion needed to put our nation on a sustainable fiscal path. I also participated in a bipartisan, bicameral call for such an agreement just last week. The failure of the Supercommittee to get to even $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is a terrible sign. If we’re going to restore America’s economic leadership, spur economic growth, and boost job creation, we need to act to reduce the national debt before it’s too late. The federal government simply cannot continue to live beyond its means indefinitely, any more than any household or business.
“The Budget Control Act that Congress passed in August provided that in the event the Supercommittee failed to agree on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, automatic spending cuts equal to the same amount would go into effect. Although Social Security, veterans’ programs, and certain other programs would avoid cuts or be largely exempted, these cuts were designed to be objectionable to everyone, so as to compel the committee to reach an agreement. Undoubtedly, the automatic cuts do not represent the best way to reduce budget deficits and strengthen our country. Congress should continue seeking to reach an agreement to reduce the deficit in a thoughtful, targeted fashion. I remain ready to work across the aisle and support a reasonable compromise that puts our nation on a solid fiscal foundation. Washington can and must do better.
“Just as we must work together to promote job creation in the short term and the long term, we must also work together to deal with the deficit. At difficult times in the past, Americans have come together and put aside their differences to address critical issues, making our nation stronger. If both sides refuse to come together now, both will have failed the American people.”
(November 21, 2011)