Congressman Bob Gibbs

Representing the 7th District of Ohio

October 25, 2013

October 25, 2013
Columns

Now that the government shutdown is over it is time we all come to the table to discuss how to fix our spending addiction, as well as institute policies to grow our economy. During the shutdown the House passed four different pieces of legislation that funded the government, only to have them rejected by the Senate. In addition, the House passed numerous bills that would fund and re-open vital functions of the government along with addressing our country’s spending issues which were all rejected by Majority Leader Reid without even debate or discussion.

The House bills opened the government piece by piece, by funding programs such as: Head Start students programs, funding pediatric cancer research, re-opening national parks and memorials, ensuring veterans received their benefits, paying our National Guard and Army Reserve, providing funds for disaster relief, and providing back pay for those federal employees who were furloughed, along with paying non-furloughed employees on time. Those bills sat on Harry Reid’s desk waiting to be taken up in the Senate.  

Instead of passing bills that would put us on a path to recognize our nation’s spending problem, Congress passed what is considered a ‘clean’ continuing resolution (CR). This would continue government priorities and funding levels at their current status with no changes.  I feel that this country does need changes to both its priorities and funding levels moving forward and that is why I voted against this CR.  To say that our current trajectory will be beneficial for our country in the long run is to turn a blind eye on the American people’s future economic prosperity.

This supposed ‘clean’ bill is the usual meaningless, Washington jargon that only seems to contradict itself.  The ‘clean’ CR that was passed, was nothing near clean. Washington has a habit of airdropping pet projects into bills. This leaves the American people with a deal that does nothing to address the uncertainty coming out of Washington, or addressing our Nation’s spending problems.  Inside this ‘clean’ CR, Congress voted to raise the debt ceiling without cutting spending or enacting necessary reforms that would change our out of control spending problems.

The Senate loaded up the CR with so many other issues that the real reason behind passing this bill was lost. Situations such as these put members of Congress in positions where they are forced to make the tough vote to allow a bill that chose to, in this case, re-open the government but not acknowledge our spending issues or vote down the CR because it doesn’t make the necessary reforms.

I voted against this deal because it is not something that the American people should be subject too. Through a rational thought process, people would have to conclude that at some point this path leads us towards an economic disaster. The question all American’s should be asking is: how much longer can our country’s economy sustain itself if we continue to increase the debt ceiling without ever addressing the problem as to why this has become the new normal.

I came to Washington because I, along with my constituents wanted to see Washington run differently. We must enact policies that will address our underlying spending problems that continue to weigh on our already stagnate economy. In the coming months, we will once again face another budget battle. I appreciate hearing your concerns and thoughts on how we can navigate through these crises again.