July 22, 2011
Cong. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) on Tuesday voted against H.R. 2560, a Republican spending bill that he said would make extreme budget cuts that would hurt the middle class, seniors, and job creation while protecting special interest tax loopholes.
Lipinski called for Congress to pass a bipartisan agreement to reduce the deficit and ensure the government can meet its financial obligations.
“I have repeatedly called for a responsible deficit reduction plan to accompany an increase in the debt ceiling,” Lipinski said. “In May, I voted against a bill that would have raised the debt limit without making any spending cuts.
“In addition, I have repeatedly voted against irresponsible spending and have supported cuts in spending to reduce the deficit. But I cannot support an extreme proposal such as this bill that would slash support for working families, cost American jobs, and sharply raise costs for seniors on Medicare.
“H.R. 2560 would result in even deeper cuts to critical programs than the budget passed by the Republicans earlier this year.”
Lipinski added that the Senate and House Republicans refuse to acknowledge America’s debt problems. To resolve these issues, both parties have to work together to craft a compromise, Lipinski said.
“As someone who believes it is critical that Congress and the American people are given ample time to study major legislation, I also wish to register my objection to the fact that a bill this consequential was called to the floor just four days after it was introduced, without a single hearing ever having been held on it,” said Lipinski.
Lipinski is cosponsoring an amendment to the Constitution requiring a balanced budget. H.R. 2560 calls for a balanced budget, but the type of amendment it calls for has serious problems, Lipinski said.
“In particular, it makes it extraordinarily difficult to close unjustified and unaffordable tax loopholes that benefit powerful special interests,” said the congressman. “In addition, it takes the unprecedented step of arbitrarily dictating spending levels to Congress and the American people.”
With an Aug. 2 deadline looming for a resolution to the debt ceiling, political gamesmanship has to cease, the congressman said.
“Almost two weeks ago, we learned that the economy created just 18,000 jobs in June,” Lipinski said. “Given that we need to create 12 million jobs to return to pre-recession employment levels, that should serve as a wake-up call for Washington.
“If we’re going to solve America’s fiscal problems and get people back to work, we need to stop the bickering, end the gridlock, and find common ground.
“I have offered a five-point jobs plan to do just that.”