Saturday, August 06, 2011

Letter from Senator Hutchson.

During the recent debt limit fiasco, I wrote my Senators and Congressman.  I received reasonably lucid respones, which I'll post here.

However, I must preface it by saying that words fail me at the level of disdain I feel for people who can only cut $25 billion of spending from a $2.6 Trillion budget.....

Here is the letter from Senator Hutchison.

Dear Friend:

Thank you for contacting me regarding our national debt. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Out-of-control spending has put our economic and national security at risk. Over the past two years, the federal government has posted deficits of $1.4 trillion and $1.3 trillion, respectively. Our nation’s accumulated debt surpassed $14 trillion December 2010, and reached its statutory limit of $14.3 trillion on August 2, 2011. The debate over our nation's debt ceiling agreement presented Congress and the White House with the opportunity to achieve real, substantive spending cuts and reforms that are necessary to put our fiscal house in order.

I am a cosponsor and strong supporter of both the Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and S. 1340, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011. The only permanent solution to our debt and deficit crisis is to enact laws that require the federal budget to be balanced every year, and that cap the share of our country's economic output that can be diverted to support our government.

Unfortunately, the Democrat majority in the Senate has repeatedly blocked voting on either bill. Most recently, on July 22, 2011, despite unanimous support from me and all Republican Senators, the Senate majority voted down a procedural move to bring up the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act.

The House of Representatives, which had passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, then approved a compromise bill that would have raised the debt limit by $900 billion -- accompanied by more than $900 billion in initial spending cuts, no tax increases, and a commitment that the Senate vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment. Senate Democrats rejected this compromise and brought forward a proposal that was rejected by both the full Senate and the House of Representatives.

With the deadline for debt limit action approaching, the Republican Leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives negotiated directly with the White House, and arrived at a debt limit and deficit cut agreement that was approved by the full House and Senate, and signed by the President on August 2, 2011. This agreement raises the debt by about $900 billion, locks in more than $900 billion in spending cuts, and does not raise taxes. It also requires the Senate to vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment before the end of 2011.

The debt limit agreement establishes a special Congressional committee to recommend at least $1.2 trillion in additional spending cuts that must accompany any further increase in the debt limit. If the committee cannot agree on these cuts, or if the full Congress or the President reject them, the August 2 legislation triggers $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts in all federal discretionary spending programs.

The provisions of this agreement fall far short of the $4 trillion in spending cuts that I hoped could be achieved; however, it is the best result that could be achieved with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House. Tax increases are off the table, a vote on the Balanced Budget is guaranteed, and never again will Congress and the White House take for granted upping the limit on the national credit card. Finally, this agreement provided a needed respite for our weak, jobless economic recovery.

Please be assured that I remain strongly committed to the goal of balancing the federal budget -- without raising taxes. I appreciate hearing from you. Please do not hesitate to contact me on any issue that is important to you.


Kay Bailey Hutchison

United States Senator

284 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-5922 (tel)

202-224-0776 (fax)

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