Lipinski Votes for Bipartisan Compromise Budget Bill to Avoid a Shutdown and Reduce the Deficit While Protecting the Middle Class

Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) voted for H.R. 1473 to keep the government running through the end of September, reduce the deficit by cutting spending by approximately $38 billion, and preserve investments in essential programs that promote job creation and aid the middle class.

“H.R. 1473 represents the necessary compromise that I called for a week ago to avoid a government shutdown and reduce the deficit without harming the middle class,” Congressman Lipinski said. “Like any compromise, it is imperfect. But voting for it was the right thing to do for our country. H.R. 1473 is a much better bill than the House Republicans’ original budget, which I opposed because it included too many ill-conceived cuts that would hurt America now and in the long run. It recognizes that for the sake of America’s future, we must cut spending in a thoughtful, targeted way, while continuing to make investments that strengthen our nation.”

Prior to today’s vote, Congressman Lipinski 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. He also voted in December to trim spending by $40 billion compared to the President’s budget request.

The final budget bill improves upon the House Republicans’ original legislation, H.R. 1, in a number of respects. Unlike H.R. 1, the bill voted on today preserves $133 million to build the Englewood Flyover in Chicago, which will create 1,450 jobs and help eliminate delays on Metra’s Rock Island and Southwest Service lines. Compared to H.R. 1, it adds funding for oversight of Wall Street to prevent another financial meltdown, and eliminates some draconian cuts to job-creating hi-tech research, including alternative energy research. In a variety of other areas, it preserves more funding for critical investments than H.R. 1. At the same time, H.R. 1473 achieves substantial cost savings through sensible, targeted cuts to a range of programs, such as a $1 billion reduction in spending on federal buildings.

Unfortunately, H.R. 1473 does not include $24 billion in cuts supported by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates that Congressman Lipinski previously voted for. These cuts would have eliminated funding to develop the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and the Surface-Launched Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile, which have suffered from delays, cost overruns, and poor performance.

“I’m glad that in the end both sides were able to reach an agreement that allows us to continue to move forward and work on a long-term solution to the country’s debt problem that recognizes the need to invest in the American people,” Congressman Lipinski said. “As I’ve said many times, America works best when its leaders put aside partisan politics and focus on doing the right thing for the country as a whole. I’m going to continue to work for and support efforts to enforce fiscal discipline in Washington while strengthening the middle class.”

(April 14, 2011)


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