The following is a letter from Rep. Marsha Blackburn to conservative friend Richard Fisher.
Dear Dr. Fisher:
Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns regarding our nation's budget.
As you may know, on August 1, 2011, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 (S. 365) by a vote of 269-161. It was subsequently passed the Senate by a vote of 74-26, and was signed into public law by President Obama. I voted for this bill because it accomplishes two vital tasks: it gives the American people the security of avoiding the possibility of default, and it charts a new course for fiscal responsibility. In this bill, we achieved more than two-thirds of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget, and most of the aspects of Cut, Cap, and Balance. It contains real cuts in spending, real caps on future spending, and requires both the Senate and the House to vote on a proposed Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution by the end of the year.
This bill prevents our country from possibly entering into a job-crushing national default. Had this happened, it would have detrimentally affected the lives of Americans all across the country. Default would cause ratings agencies to reduce the U.S. credit rating, and credit availability would contract significantly in the short run as banks are unable to issue credit. Once individuals are able to borrow again, credit costs such as mortgages, auto loans, school loans, credit card loans, etc., would increase immediately and would likely be permanently higher than if no default had occurred. The message is clear: Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. We have been given an opportunity to reexamine fiscal and budgetary policy, and impose real changes in the way our government spends taxpayer money.
In addition to saving our nation from default, this bill cuts spending by a larger amount than the debt limit hike, and says no to President Obama's proposed tax hikes. It contains significant spending cuts and statutory spending controls: it will cut $2.4 trillion over the next decade. Ever since I have been in Congress, I have fought for real spending cuts. You, the people of the 7th district of Tennessee, elected me to fight for you. Each year, I introduce bills and propose amendments on appropriations to cut spending. I will continue to fight for across-the-board cuts and remain committed to the fight against tax increases.
While I am pleased with the real cuts included in the Budget Control Act, I am frustrated that defense cuts were once again put on the table at the eleventh hour. The men and women of our Armed Forces deserve the full support and backing of Congress. As the select committee looks at cuts, I will work closely with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon to ensure that these cuts don't come on the backs of our men and women at Ft. Campbell or our National Guard Units. I will be actively watching as we move forward and will fight to make sure we continue to supply these brave servicemen and women, and their families, with the resources they need.
While this bill is not perfect, it is a step toward bringing sanity to the nation's finances and greater certainty to our country's small business job creators. I am hopeful and encouraged that this is the start of serious spending reform. Rest assured, I will continue to fight for you to control spending in Washington and restore fiscal responsibility.
Please know that I appreciate both your interest and time in contacting me. As the discussion moves forward on this and other issues, please feel free to visit our website at www.house.gov/blackburn where you can sign-up for our email update, learn about constituent services, and find the latest legislative news and critical information that affects and concerns the people of Tennessee.
Member of Congress