Robert Hurt: The urgent need to cut government spending and reduce government debt

This past week, the House debated HR 1, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act. This bill would fund the government through September 30th of this year at $100 billion less than the amount President Obama requested in his Fiscal Year 2011 budget.

Given the current fiscal crisis that faces the Fifth District and the nation, I delivered the following remarks on the House floor to discuss the urgent need to cut government spending and reduce government debt:

Last year, our President and our Congress failed to enact a budget. This fundamental failure of leadership has put our country on a path of skyrocketing debt, growing deficits, and unacceptably high unemployment.

The President has now submitted to this new Congress a new budget proposal. Instead of recognizing the urgent need to reduce spending and reduce our debt, the President’s budget proposal amounts to, yet again, a failure of leadership.

It is a budget predicated on unsustainable deficit spending and insurmountable debt that will be passed on to our children and to our grandchildren.

Our deficit is projected to reach an all time high of 1.6 trillion dollars. And our national debt is projected to equal the size of the entire U.S. economy, reaching over 15 trillion dollars by September 30th of this year.

And for 21 straight months, our national unemployment rate has been at 9 percent or higher—the country’s longest jobless streak since the Great Depression.

The people of my District – Virginia’s Fifth District – and the people of our nation know this course is unsustainable and that it must stop.

Enough is enough.

It is time to chart a new course of fiscal discipline and restraint.

It is time to act on the urgent message sent by the people in November that we must put an end to Washington’s reckless spending.

No longer should the people of the 5th District be stuck to foot the bill for a growing and intrusive federal government.

No longer should families and businesses in Central and Southside Virginia be the ones making the tough choices to live within their means while the federal government borrows 40 cents on every dollar it spends.

By making tough choices and by reducing government spending, we are taking the first step in tackling our unsustainable debt and in preserving our economic strength for future generations.

By reducing spending we are restoring a sense of certainty and confidence to the market place that will create a better environment for job creation.

By reducing spending we are reducing the size and scope of the federal government and are empowering our true job creators to hire, innovate, and expand.

The decisions we face are not easy. But we have not been given an easy task. Now is the time to act and to act boldly if we are serious about leaving a better America for our children and our grandchildren.

Editor’s Note: At the time of distribution, the Continuing Resolution was still being debated in the House of Representatives. The outcome of the final legislation is to be determined.

Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District in the United States House of Representatives.

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