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Restoring Fiscal Responsibility

By Staff | Mar 6, 2011

In all my travels around our great state since I became your Senator, I’ve heard loud and clear that you want our federal government to get its fiscal house in order, and that’s one of the reasons you sent me to Washington.

This week, I took several steps to restore fiscal sanity in our nation’s Capitol steps that will start to put our country back on the right track, get the government off our backs and out of our pocketbooks and help small business owners start hiring hardworking Americans.

First, I came out very strongly in favor of a balanced budget amendment. I was the first Democrat to put my name on the measure, and I was proud to be the lead member of our party to work across the aisle to encourage Senators from both parties to support requiring our federal government to live within its means.

After all, families balance their budgets and so do states. After years of explosive growth and skyrocketing debt, the federal government must also start living within its means. Without a balanced budget amendment, the federal government just spends more than we have, and I believe this step is necessary to rein in our out-of-control spending.

Several different plans to achieve this important objective have and will be discussed. While I will evaluate each proposal on its merits, I will ultimately support the plan that responsibly balances our books in the years to come. A plan to balance our budget must be responsible and flexible enough to meet the needs and the priorities of our nation.

This week, I also supported a short-term bipartisan plan to cut $4 billion from our budget because I believe that everyone Republicans and Democrats must come together to figure out a commonsense, bipartisan plan to create jobs and ensure that we are keeping our promises to seniors, our servicemembers, our veterans, and hardworking West Virginians who are counting on us to get the budget right.

However, to solve a problem as big as our deficit and out-of-control spending, Democrats and Republicans are going to have to put partisan differences aside and work together on a commonsense long-term solution. I, for one, am committed to doing just that.

I look forward to being a part of the process, getting our fiscal house in order, cutting waste, and reining in our spending. For me, it is important that we prioritize our resources on commonsense issues keeping our promises to seniors, veterans and hardworking families while also making sure we don’t saddle our future generations with debt.”

Finally, this week, I announced my support for cutting 5 percent of Congress’ budget. We all have to share the sacrifice of reducing our spending and Congress should be at the top of that list, long before our hardworking families, seniors and veterans.

Coming on the horizon, we will have two major issues to address: raising our national debt ceiling and finalizing a budget. On both of those issues, it’s clear to me that we need to start working within reasonable and responsible parameters that put our fiscal house in order.

When I was Governor, we worked together, made tough choices, and made sure we balanced our budget every year when I was in office. While putting America’s fiscal house in order will be difficult, I know, if we put partisanship aside, we will develop a commonsense plan that will help ensure a brighter future for generations to come.