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Congressman Chris Collins

Representing the 27th District of New York

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No Budget, No Pay

Jan 30, 2013
Columns & Op-eds

The first weeks of any new year are always a busy time and the start of 2013 has certainly been an exciting time for me.  I had the great honor of taking the oath of office as your new Congressman in early January and the weeks that have followed have been filled with meaningful experiences in both Washington and here at home. 

As a husband, father and grandfather, I ran for Congress because I am deeply worried about our country’s reckless spending and runaway debt.  We have a serious spending problem and borrowing more money from China to pay our bills is not the answer.  As Americans, we have to come together to support meaningful and commonsense solutions to rein-in spending, pay down our debt, balance our budget, and most importantly, ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren.

The House of Representatives took an important step toward bringing fiscal sanity to Washington last week when it passed the ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ with bipartisan support.  If the men and women elected to come to Washington and do the people’s work cannot pass a budget – their most fundamental obligation – they should not get a paycheck.  The ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ obligates the Democrat-controlled Senate to finally join the House in passing a budget – something it has failed to do for nearly four years.   If the House and Senate do not pass a budget, members will not get paid.  If hardworking taxpayers and small business owners all across NY-27 have to budget, so should Washington.

The debt limit is a check on Washington’s spending habits.  Before there is a long-term increase to our debt limit, we must pass a budget that deals with America’s spending addiction.  The ‘No Budget, No Pay Act’ temporarily raises the debt ceiling for three months and ensures that this Congress and this country will have a long overdue debate about responsible spending. 

At nearly $16.4 trillion, America’s debt has grown twice as fast under President Obama as it did under President Bush.  After four years of trillion dollar deficits under this administration, our failure to get spending under control is doing direct harm to our economy.  We continue to stagger out of this recession in large part because Americans have not sent a clear signal that we are willing to tackle our debt problem. 

This country has faced much larger problems in the past and we are more than capable of rolling up our shelves and meeting this challenge.  Passing a balanced budget and paying down our debt will require some sacrifice from everyone.   Make no mistake; there are some who are just fine with the selfish status quo.  Those people will deploy the same tired scare tactics to distract and divide, but we know what is at stake.  The day my newest granddaughter came into this world over a year ago, her share of the federal debt was over $50,000.  We owe my granddaughter, and yours, better.