Budget Control Act of 2011
August 9, 2011
Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the recent debate over our nation’s budget. I appreciate your interest in the issues facing our country and state, and I am glad for the opportunity to respond to your inquiry. By contacting me on issues important to you, I am better able to represent Utah in Congress.
We are all aware of the divisive and complicated budget negotiations that have taken place on Capitol Hill recently. Several proposals were presented in recent months in an attempt to bridge the divide between opposing views on how to responsibly manage our national budget, debt, fiscal policy, and societal obligations. I have heard from many constituents concerned about the seeming lack of progress in negotiations, and each has his or her own opinion about how to solve the impasse. I understand the frustration. As Americans, we share similar concerns – like those of debt reduction, deficit spending, taxes, national defense, and fiscal responsibility – and have legitimate individual concerns – such as unemployment, medical needs, personal savings, business development, housing, and education.
The convergence of these complicated and genuine concerns has led to some difficult and impending decisions. We all know that spending must be cut, and fiscal policies adjusted. But where to cut, and how to proceed forward, has proved daunting. I have long believed that the only practical path forward must involve tough decisions and shared sacrifice by everyone. Perhaps in the end, no one will be pleased with every aspect of a compromise. But everyone – every party, every citizen, every generation – has contributed to our current situation, and we must all work together to resolve it.
The potential outcome of doing nothing was unacceptable. A default on our financial obligations would result in a downgrade to our nation’s bond rating – a direct measure of America’s power in a global economy. The consequences of a default could be widespread and deep, from affecting interest rates for loans on homes, cars, and credit cards, to depleting retirement and education accounts, while driving up the cost of government debt payments. Nonetheless, this difficult position presented a tremendous opportunity: by requiring structural reforms such as spending cuts, capped spending, and balanced budgets, we can begin now to guarantee future fiscal discipline.
That is why I supported the final agreement – the Budget Control Act of 2011, or S. 365 – reached between the President and Republican and Democratic leaders. I joined a large bipartisan majority in the House (269-161) to pass the bill, which was followed by an equally strong vote in the Senate (74-26).
The Budget Control Act will cut annual deficit spending by $2.4 trillion, with $900 billion of that total from capped annual discretionary spending. This will also sustain government obligations through the end of the year. A committee composed of an equal number of members from both parties and both the House and Senate will identify an additional $1.5 trillion in savings, and their proposed bill must be voted on by the end of the year. If these savings are not met, automatic spending cuts equally divided between defense and non-defense mandatory spending will be triggered. Additionally, it does not raise taxes and it does not threaten Social Security. Finally, it requires both chambers to vote on a balanced budget amendment by the end of this year, a move I have pushed since first being elected to Congress. The Budget Control Act addresses three of my long-standing deficit reduction principles: cut spending, capped spending, and a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.
This bill is not perfect, but in these challenging times, it is essential that all sides come together to begin to restore fiscal discipline to the federal budget. Statesmanship, not political partisanship, is needed.
Again, thank you for sharing your concerns with me. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact my office.
Member of Congress
Even with the passage of further lien obligtions on the citizens to the banks and the extra constitutional super congress, US Loses World Trust Rating and is down graded in the NWO standing as planned.
Jim Matheson is criminal in his support of further debt enslavement or at the very least criminally ignorant of to his constitutional duty to defend the fundamental natural rights of the individuals he represents.