Legislation that would deal with out of control Washington spending passed the House Wednesday night. Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-19), supported the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 (HR 2560).
“While the debt limit negotiations are still ongoing, this bill provides a long-term approach to dealing with our federal budget problems. We do not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem.” Shimkus said. “This legislation tackles that spending problem. It cuts spending immediately, caps future spending levels as a percentage of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), and proposes a Balanced Budget Amendment.”
The fiscal year 2012 discretionary budget would be capped at just over $1 trillion, a $30 billion cut from fiscal year 2011. Mandatory spending – not including Social Security, Medicare, interest payments, and veterans’ benefits – would be cut $51 billion in fiscal year 2012.
A cap on total federal government spending would be established as a percentage of GDP. That percentage would decrease over the years to just under 20 percent by 2018. Fiscal year 2012’s limit would be set at 22.5 percent of GDP and go down each year afterwards.
Finally, the bill provides for an increase in the debt limit provided that a Balanced Budget Amendment is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. The amendment would include a spending limitation set as a percentage of GDP. The amendment would also include a two-thirds vote requirement for Congress to raise taxes.
“We are currently borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend at the federal level. That is appalling and must stop!” Shimkus stated. “This legislation would save $5.8 trillion over ten years.”