Lipinski: Debt Limit Increase Must Be Accompanied by Spending Reductions that Strengthen Our Economy and Protect the Middle Class

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted against a Republican bill that would increase the government’s debt limit without making any spending cuts or implementing any reforms to reduce future deficits. The legislation, H.R. 1954, was brought to the floor by the Republican majority to serve as a “political message” and was intended to fail. It failed by a vote of 97 to 318.

“Congress should be focused on job creation and responsible deficit reduction, but today House Republicans took the unusual step of bringing to the floor legislation they strongly opposed and knew would fail,” Congressman Lipinski said. “As such, H.R. 1954 was a distraction from the real work that must be done to bring both sides together behind a bipartisan solution that pairs sensible spending reductions and reforms with an increase in the debt limit in order to assure a bright economic future for America. It was already clear that a majority of the House shares my conviction that we should work on getting the deficit under control as part of an increase in the debt ceiling. In April, the President publicly committed to bipartisan negotiations aimed at reducing future deficits prior to the Aug. 2 deadline for a vote on the debt ceiling, and Vice President Joe Biden and congressional negotiators are actively working on such an agreement. Congress should not waste time on purely political legislation and should instead pave the way for a bipartisan vote on the debt limit by first addressing the consequences of decades of excessive government borrowing.”

Congressman Lipinski has been working to reduce deficits and prevent or eliminate spending the American people cannot afford. In April, he voted for the bipartisan budget compromise to prevent a government shutdown and reduce spending by approximately $38 billion while preserving investments in essential programs that promote job creation and aid the middle class. He also voted for all three short-term budget extensions, which together reduced spending by $12 billion and kept the government running while negotiations on a bill covering the rest of the fiscal year continued. In December, he voted to trim spending by $40 billion compared to the President’s budget request.

In addition, Congressman Lipinski did not vote for the $1 trillion health care law, the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, or the poorly designed $862 billion stimulus bill.

“My position on this issue has not changed,” Congressman Lipinski said. “All along I have called for a deficit reduction plan to accompany an increase in the debt ceiling. This spring I turned down a request to sign a letter calling for raising the debt ceiling without any deficit reduction plan. Prior to a vote on the debt limit, Congress should reduce spending while protecting critical investments and the middle class, so that our economy can continue to gain traction and create the jobs Americans need. The fact is that we have to make tough decisions and live within our means.”

(May 31, 2011)


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