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Congressman Diane Black

Representing the 6th District of Tennessee

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Rep. Black: Washington Has a Spending Problem

April 16, 2018
Press Release

To watch Rep. Black’s remarks on the House floor, click HERE.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Diane Black (R-TN-06) spoke on the House floor urging support of the Balanced Budget Amendment to the United States Constitution (H.J. Res. 2), requiring an annual balance of the federal budget.

Remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:

M. Speaker, fiscal conservatism means cutting spending where possible and in turn, spending responsibly.

Today’s vote is timely – CBO’s recent report confirmed what many of us already know. Washington has a spending problem.

The budget deficit will near one trillion dollars next year and trillions more are projected indefinitely.

Only a decade ago, the federal debt held by the public was 39 percent of GDP. Today, it’s 75 percent and is expected to surpass 96 percent over the next decade.

At what point does the debt become severe enough to stall our economic growth?

Maybe we cannot answer that question today, but we all know that point looms on the horizon.

If we don’t act, we – or our children – are going to find out the hard way.

The burden on our borrowing is going to fall on our future generations, hurting their ability to flourish.

I could not in good faith support the recent budget cap agreement, nor could I support the most recent omnibus.

In fact, I voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Act during my first year in Congress, which would have capped future spending based on GDP.

That same year, I supported the Budget Control Act which reined in years of high level discretionary spending.

Some of my colleagues across the aisle are trying to use this bill to attack the tax cuts.

But tax cuts are not the problem. Our economy needed a jolt and that’s what we did. We will continue to see economic growth from our tax cuts for years to come.

Spending is the problem. Our mandatory spending has been projected to nearly quadruple by 2040.

Our population is aging. Our workforce participation rate is stagnant. For every 1.65 employed persons in the private sector, 1 person receives welfare assistance.

This must be addressed. My budget last year began this process of addressing mandatory spending and we need to build on that progress.

I agree that offering a constitutional amendment should be done rarely and reluctantly.

Our debt burden threatens the kind of country that we leave behind for our children and grandchildren. We must end this borrow-and-spend cycle that has gone on for far too long.

Ensuring future generations have the same opportunities we have today means making hard choices. No more delays or denial.

I urge my colleagues to vote for this resolution, and I yield back.

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Congressman Diane Black represents Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District. A nurse for more than 40 years, she serves as a member of the House Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.