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Hinchey, Marino take opposite sides on debt ceiling deal

August 2, 2011

Hinchey Statement on Debt Ceiling Deal
Monday, 01 August 2011 15:49
Washington, DC -- Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today released the following statement in opposition to the debt ceiling deal.

"In short, the plan put forward Sunday night is fundamentally unbalanced. It wrongly puts the burden of debt reduction squarely on the backs of the middle class and seniors while allowing corporate tax loopholes to continue, and enabling millionaires and billionaires to walk away without having to sacrifice one extra penny to put the nation's finances back in line.

"The cuts demanded by the deal will harm our economic recovery and result in the loss of jobs. By slashing vital investments in our education, energy, transportation and communication systems, it will hurt our ability to create jobs in the short run and prevent us from laying a foundation for future prosperity. It also slates critical health care, housing and other programs for cuts, even though working and middle class families are relying on these programs during the current economic downturn.

"While Social Security and Medicare may be spared for now, the deal sets in motion another round of 'ticking-time-bomb' talks later this year that could put those programs back on the table or initiate an even more devastating round of cuts to domestic and defense priorities. We've already seen how these Washington games of chicken can turn out, and it is reckless and irresponsible to voluntarily subject our country to more of these shenanigans.

"The right way forward would have been a balanced approach that cut the deficit through a mixed package of spending cuts and the closure of tax loopholes and giveaways that were designed for the exclusive benefit of the wealthy and large corporations that export jobs. The deal reached this weekend does the exact opposite and it will downgrade the economy for all Americans. It's a raw deal for working and middle class New Yorkers, and I cannot support it."

U.S. Rep. Tom Marino
Aug. 1, 2011

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, on Monday voted in favor of a budget resolution that begins to address the debt crisis and set the stage for job creation by cutting federal spending, placing caps on future spending, and advancing the cause of a balanced budget amendment without raising taxes.

The House passed S.365, the Budget Control Act Agreement, by a 269-161 vote. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“Today, for the first time, we took a step toward giving Americans a government that lives within its means,” Marino said. “This is a beginning, not an end. This debt is a problem both parties created over decades and much work remains to put an end to the excesses of Washington.”

The legislation would make initial cuts in federal spending of more than $900 billion with deeper cuts of at least $1.2 trillion that will take effect later this year. The President would have the authority to raise the debt limit in amounts corresponding with the spending cuts subject to a congressional vote of disapproval.

The bill requires both chambers to vote on a proposed balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by the end of the year. Two-thirds of each chamber would have to vote in favor of the amendment and send it to the states for ratification before the debt ceiling could be increased.

“The voice of the American people is finally being heard in Washington,” Marino said, noting that the atmosphere in the nation’s capital has changed dramatically since the new House freshmen took office in January.

“The debate has turned from: ‘How much taxpayer money can we dole out and how many government programs can we create?’ to `How much money can we save and what is the best way to balance the budget?’ ”

The deal reached Sunday by leaders of both chambers establishes a 12-person, bi-partisan committee to formulate a plan to make deep cuts. If the panel does not cut at least $1.5 trillion in the next decade, an automatic safeguard kicks in to reduce spending by $1.2 trillion.

Marino said the resolution is good start on the road to job creation and economic recovery.

“There is much more to be done and I will continue to stand up for the values of my constituents and bring accountability to Washington by putting an end to wasteful spending, balancing the budget and keeping taxes low,” Marino said. “The principle that guides me is that innovators create jobs, not government. I believe this action today will send a signal that spurs our economy and leads to more jobs in America.”