|Washington, D.C. – Friday, U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN), released the following statement on the Budget Control Act of 2011, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 218-204:
“In the past five years, Congress has increased the debt ceiling six times with no substantive debate or regard for the long term impact of their decisions. For years, Congress and Presidents have spent us further into debt with no plan for how to pay our bills. It angers me that such irresponsible behavior has permeated Washington for so many years. Our nation’s debt poses a grave threat to the security and prosperity of our nation.
“But unlike the past five years, this Congress has heavily debated the vote to raise the debt limit and used it as a tool to fundamentally change the Washington norm. This evening, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Control Act of 2011, a bill that is not perfect, but I believe is an honest effort that begins to put our country back on the right track.
“As I traveled throughout the 6th District, meeting with individuals, holding town hall meetings and touring businesses, I have always said that I would need to see a package of spending cuts greater than or equal to the amount of the debt increase, as well as structural reforms so as a country we do not find ourselves in this position again. While not the ideal piece of legislation, the Budget Control Act of 2011 meets that threshold for me.
“Importantly, this bill does not raise taxes, cuts $915 billion, creates a structural change by putting a cap on discretionary spending into law for the next decade, forces a Balanced Budget Amendment be debated in the Senate and sent to the states, and creates a bicameral committee that will report legislation to reduce the deficit by $1.8 trilling by November.
“Economists say that the United States has less than five years to get our fiscal house in order, or else we will sink under all this debt. That is why I will continue to work for cuts wherever I can find them, promote real structural changes that handcuff future Congresses and fight to bring America back from the edge of this debt crisis. The House of Representatives is standing in the way of the status quo of Washington; it is because of us that this debt limit fight is a fight. You have my promise that I will stand arm in arm with my freshman colleagues for as long as it takes to get this country back on track, so our children and grandchildren are not burdened with massive debt.”