"While we must act in a fiscally responsible manner, deep, indiscriminate cuts to services and investments such as education, job training, energy programs, infrastructure projects, and Social Security and Medicare will cost the United States jobs and slow down our economic recovery. Simply put: we cannot cut our way to prosperity."
Cutting the Deficit
I believe that reducing the deficit should be done in a balanced way that protects the middle class and our economy; the future of our country’s financial health relies in part on the passage of bipartisan legislation that reduces the deficit through responsible spending cuts and increased revenues generated by closing tax loopholes that solely benefit the very wealthy.
In early 2013, the process set in motion by the Budget Control Act of 2011 known as “sequestration” went into effect. Sequestration’s indiscriminate across-the-board spending cuts meant fewer jobs and economic investment; fewer food and drug inspectors, Forest Service firefighters, Customs and Border Patrol officers, and public defenders in our courts; less life-saving medical research, access to Head Start for children, fewer loan guarantees to small businesses, and reduced funding for our national security. I am confident that we can replace the sequester with responsible spending cuts and increased revenues generated by closing tax loopholes that solely benefit the very wealthy. For this reason, I supported Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s Stop the Sequester Job Loss Now Act, H.R.699, which would repeal the sequester and replace it with a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Regrettably, this bill did not pass the House when it came up for a full vote.
Financial Reform and Oversight
Our country’s fiscal health also relies heavily on the regulation of the financial institutions that are capable of both positively and negatively impacting our economic future. In response to the financial meltdown that began in 2007 and from which our economy has still not completely recovered, Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 – commonly referred to as the "Dodd-Frank Act.". This legislation creates common sense regulations to close loopholes opened in the preceding decades, including bringing the derivatives markets into the light of reporting, central clearing, and position limits. The Dodd-Frank Act also took steps to ensure that in a time of financial crisis, banks would be regulated in a manner that will not pose a risk to the economy or be bailed out on the backs of American taxpayers.
While I look forward to working with the President and my fellow members of Congress to pass a budget that helps the poor and the middle class, closes tax loopholes, and asks corporations and the top wage-earners to do their part, I believe we must continue to focus on domestic investment. Without properly funding our domestic infrastructure, research, and health and safety services while ensuring a social safety net for the sick, elderly, and less fortunate, we will fail to create a better, stronger, more prosperous nation for the next generation.
For more information concerning my work and views on fiscal responsibility, please contact me.