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Wittman Votes For Fiscal Responsibility

Congress must stop budgeting by crisis and get the nation’s fiscal house in order.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01) voted against raising the debt ceiling and the Democrats’ proposed Continuing Resolution (CR). Our national debt is currently over $28 trillion- roughly 125% of our GDP. Last year, the United States paid $376 billion in interest on this debt. Despite having passed a minibus earlier in the year, the House has not appropriated funding for our military, the Department of Homeland Security, or grants for law enforcement, among other priorities. With the fiscal year set to end on September 30th, this Continuing Resolution was put forth to fund the government until the House has passed the remaining appropriations bills. Following this evening’s vote, Congressman Wittman stated: 

“We know the consequences, but yet again we find ourselves budgeting by crisis. Had Congress done its job properly, this Continuing Resolution could have been avoided. For months, I urged Speaker Pelosi to cancel August Recess until the House had passed all of our appropriations bills. And I introduced legislation to do the same. Instead, she ordered the House into a taxpayer-funded recess for over a month. As a result of this legislative procrastination, we were forced to vote on a Continuing Resolution to avert a government shutdown, which I voted against. 

“I am opposed to government shutdowns. But it is wholly irresponsible for us to continue spending well beyond our means without a plan to get the nation’s fiscal house in order. Despite controlling both chambers of Congress, Democrats have refused to  put forth a plan to right the fiscal ship. Passing a Continuing Resolution instead of doing the work to properly fund our government is a short-term solution to a long-term problem and an abdication of Congress’ duties and responsibilities. This is not how a functional government operates. 

“Raising the debt ceiling is indicative of how dire our fiscal situation has become. As debt piles up, interest paid on this debt will further crowd out other priorities. In essence, we are mortgaging the futures of our children and grandchildren to avoid making decisions in the present. Our progeny will inherit the mess we have created. 

“There are solutions. The Republican Study Committee, of which I am a Member, has put forth a plan to balance the federal budget in five years. Even as our plan balances the budget, it also cuts taxes by $15,500 per household. Further included in this budget is the necessary growth for defense spending, which House Republicans successfully included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Finally, our budget would also set Social Security on a long-term path to balance without cutting benefits for those in or near retirement, or for low- and middle-income workers, as well as provide long-term solvency for Medicare. 

“Good government is possible. But good government cannot coexist alongside manufactured crises and knee jerk reactions. The House must urgently come together and agree upon a long-term spending solution that does not sacrifice economic growth or our national security. Funding our government through a Continuing Resolution does not allow for proper planning or budgeting by our federal agencies; all spending remains the same, meaning that we can’t fund new programs, cut outdated ones, or plan for the future.  We have a plan, and I hope to see the Majority join us in our efforts to get the nation’s fiscal house in order.”

Congressman Rob Wittman represents the First District of Virginia. He serves on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Armed Services Committee, where he serves as the ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.