Budget & Debt
Washington continues to spend at unsustainable levels. That is why I voted against H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act when it passed Congress on January 1, 2013. This plan does not address the real driver of our debt – spending. President Obama's unwillingness to address this continues to cripple our efforts to find a long-term solution. We cannot tax our way out of this fiscal situation.
The President himself has said on multiple occasions that spending cuts must be part of the solution. In fact, on April 13, 2011 he remarked, "So any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to put everything on the table, and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget." However, his words have seldom matched his actions.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to make the tough choices and devise a long-term solution that gets our economy back on track and reduces our deficits. I remain hopeful that the President will join us in this effort.
Balance Budget Amendment
The proposed balanced budget amendment would require the federal government to balance its expenditures with its revenues. Unlike most states, the U.S. Constitution does not require Congress to pass a balanced budget, which remains one of the many reasons why our deficit is out of control. The Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States. Unfortunately, the borrowing is currently at unsustainable levels and our country has entirely too much debt.
I am a proud co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 1, which proposes a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. We need to take serious measures to reduce deficit spending and balance the federal budget while simplifying the tax code to allow businesses and households to thrive.
I voted against the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 1, 2011. With a national debt that currently stands at $14.3 trillion, we needed a plan that solved the problems posed by both a potential default and Washington's spending habits. I concluded that many parts of this plan insisted upon by the President and Senate leadership took the easy way out, resulting in a compromise without real solutions.
The final bill did not include enough of the elements of my preferred "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill. "Cut, Cap and Balance" as well as the "Boehner Plan" required more immediate spending cuts, and that a Balanced Budget Amendment be passed and sent to the states before allowing the President to raise the debt limit a second time. Unfortunately, this requirement was left out of the compromise.
Additionally, the original "Boehner Plan" specified that defense cuts could not exceed three percent. However, the President insisted that as much as 50 percent of the cuts included in this bill could fall on defense, while failing to include spending reforms in the areas that are the true drivers of our deficit spending. The uncertainty surrounding the President's defense cuts could negatively impact Middle Georgia. I couldn't vote for a plan that might force our community to suffer and still kicks the can down the road.
More on Budget & Debt
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08) today released the following statement upon the U.S. House of Representatives passing the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act (H.R. 3354):
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08) introduced the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act (H.R. 3546), which would end the Lifeline Program’s taxpayer subsidization of free cell phones while allowing landline service to continue for eligible participants.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Austin Scott (GA-08) released the following statement upon the House passing H.R. 244 – Consolidated Appropriations Act, to fund the federal government through September, and averting a partial government shutdown.
“One of the greatest duties we have as Members of Congress is to provide for our nation’s defense, and today’s funding agreement takes a big step forward in ensuring our men and women in uniform have the resources they need to tackle 21st century threats,” said Rep. Scott.
(WASHINGTON, DC) – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today introduced H.R. 4884, the Controlling the Unchecked and Reckless Ballooning of Lifeline Act of 2016 (CURB Act) which makes significant reforms to the Lifeline Program.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives passage of S. Con. Res. 11, the Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Resolution Conference Report. This legislation is the conference agreement to the House and Senate versions of the federal government’s budget.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today released the following statement regarding the House of Representatives passage of H. Con. Res. 27, FY2016 Budget Resolution.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today delivered the following video statement in response to the President’s 2014 State of the Union address to the nation Tuesday:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) today released the following statement on the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) joined House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Republicans in sending a letter to FY14 Budget conferees, Chairman Paul Ryan and Chairman Patty Murray, highlighting the need to maintain national defense at the House budget level. The letter describes the impacts of defense cuts both to the overall force and readiness, while urging support for entitlement reform in lieu of cuts to our military.
WASHINGTON – Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment introduced by U.S. Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08) to H.R. 2397, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, which would end the furloughs of civilian employees funded through Defense Working Capital Funds (WCF).