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Louisiana’s Republicans Unify Behind “Cut, Cap and Balance” Legislation

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Sen. Vitter rebukes colleagues in both parties for surrendering to President Obama

All six of Louisiana’s House Republicans voted in favor of the “Cut, Cap and Balance” Act (HR 2560) that passed the House last night in a 234-190 vote. But the outlook remains uncertain in the U.S. Senate.

The legislation would only allow for an increase in the debt ceiling to occur if substantial cuts in spending, enforceable spending caps are enacted and a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is sent to the states for ratification.

“America is facing a debt crisis,” Rep. William Cassidy said. “The debt is dangerously high and our AAA credit rating is endangered.  If we fail to cut spending now, our economy will suffer.”

He continued:

“The Cut, Cap and Balance Act will move towards closing the budget deficit and will establish budgetary caps to break Washington’s spending addiction.  This bill is a responsible solution to the debt dilemma and will restore business confidence.  I hope the president signs this critical legislation.”
The Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) has enforceable spending caps, but they will not kick in until the BBA is passed by both chambers of Congress with a two-thirds vote and is subsequently ratified by the states.

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, has released the following statement:

“The House of Representatives has done its job,” Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government, said. “It has passed a debt ceiling increase that meets the short, medium and long term goals set out by financial institutions like Standard & Poor’s to insure our nation’s solvency and our Triple-A credit rating.”

He added:

“Now, it is up to [Sen.]Harry Reid to start acting like an adult and put petty politics aside by passing the House bill through the Senate. ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ will save about $5.8 trillion over the next decade.  Any plan from the Senate should save at least that much. Failure to act on the only responsible approach that has been proposed to solve our nation’s debt crisis would be catastrophic to our nation’s economic future.”

President Obama has already said that he opposes the House legislation and has instead expressed support for an alternative plan offered by the “Gang of Six” in the U.S Senate, which includes Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Sen. Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).

Although “Cut, Cap and Balance” has been labeled as being “dead on arrival” in the U.S. Senate, in  other press reports, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has stood by the proposal and remains critical of  colleagues in both parties, including Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for offering alternatives he does not view as serious. McConnell has offered up his own debt limit proposal, but it has been criticized by other Republicans who say that it will not result in any genuine spending cuts.

“I strongly support the Cut, Cap, and Balance plan,” Vitter said.  “Unfortunately, the McConnell proposal undercuts all of these efforts.  It offers Reid and Obama everything they want – a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt limit with no spending cuts or reforms.”

Rep. Cedric Richmond, who is also the state’s only Democratic congressional member, voted no on “Cut Cap and Balance.”

The Pelican Institute requested a comment from Rep. Richmond’s office, but did not receive a  response.

Kevin Mooney is an investigative reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be reached at kmooney@pelicaninstitute.org. Follow him on Twitter.

 

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