Friday, April 8, 2011

A letter from Senator Marco Rubio from Florida

Dear Mr. Targett,

I appreciate you reaching out to me regarding one of the biggest challenges facing our state and nation: the federal budget and out-of-control spending. As Florida's Senator, it is my priority to confront these issues by reducing wasteful spending, eliminating duplicative and inefficient government programs, and working to ensure the solvency of entitlement programs. 

The United States' government's exorbitant spending must stop. This year, our federal deficit has reached $1.65 trillion, and that is why I strongly support a Constitutional balanced budget amendment and the House-passed Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) and strongly oppose President Obama's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012. The era of big government has driven us into debt and we must take the necessary measures to reverse it.

Senate Joint Resolution 10 (S.J. Res. 10), the Constitutional balanced budget amendment proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch, and supported by all 47 Republican Senators, sends a message that Washington can no longer spend more money than it takes in. S.J. Res. 10 requires that the federal government not surpass its budget for any fiscal year, puts a cap on federal spending to 18% of GDP, requires a two-thirds vote for any new tax or increase tax and a supermajority to raise the debt limit. The President is also required to submit a balanced budget every fiscal year to Congress. Our crippling national debt has reached an unprecedented $14 trillion and this amendment would force politicians in Washington to balance their budget, like the rest of Americans.

Even though the Democratic Party held both houses of Congress and the White House during the last Congress, they chose not propose or pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2011. Consequently, to fund the current fiscal year, I support H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011.  H.R. 1 is a spending measure that aimed to cut over $61billion compared to current levels and over $100 billion from the FY11 request. It would have cut $61 billion from current spending levels, over $100 billion from the President's massive budget request, and $862 billion over ten years, to fund the government through the current fiscal year. H.R.1 also barred funding for job-destroying regulations such as the Environmental Protection Agency's Florida-specific numeric nutrient criteria and ill-suited regulation of greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act.  H.R.1 passed the House of Representatives, but unfortunately did not pass the Senate. I will continue working towards a fiscally-responsible solution to fund the government for the remainder of 2011. 

Beyond the current fiscal year, President Obama's budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 falls far too short of tackling our national debt in a serious way. Although we face a staggering deficit and an enormous national debt that exceeds $14 trillion, the President's proposal would add $9.5 trillion of new debt over the next decade. While the President insists he would take the commendable step of vetoing earmarks, his silence on entitlement reform, the absence of meaningful spending cuts and his reliance on anti-competitive tax increases will cause more economic uncertainty, stifle job creation and keep America on a path towards a diminished future. 

Our fiscal problems today are due to decades of profligate spending by both parties. We have a job-crushing debt because Washington has repeatedly postponed the tough decisions for someone else to deal with down the road.  The American people have every reason to be disappointed by the President's federal budget and by Washington politicians who either don't understand the seriousness of our fiscal crisis, or who are simply not willing to confront this challenge. As Florida's Senator, I will continue to work towards enacting a responsible budget into law and solving the long-term fiscal problems we face as a state and a nation. I appreciate your input as I continue to do so. 

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