Fighting to Tighten Washington's Belt

An Op Ed by Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, ILL)…

Last year, for the first time in nearly 40 years, the House of Representatives — under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi — failed to pass, or even propose a budget for Fiscal Year 2011. This left Americans without a budget and Democrats without any restraints.

As a result, the American people sent a clear message to Washington last November– cut spending. I came to Washington to do exactly that.

In February, House Republicans passed a long-term CR with $100 billion in cuts. The Senate rejected this proposal, refusing to side with the taxpayers to get our fiscal house in order – leaving Congress to pass a short-term CR with another $4 billion in cuts over two weeks.

On March 15th, the House passed an additional $6 billion in cuts over the next three weeks. The Senate passed this short-term CR two days later for a total of $10 billion in spending cuts. This achievement of permanently cutting $10 billion is a good start, but the cuts will not stop here.

We cannot give up, shutdown and simply hope Senate Democrats will cave. The House only controls one stem of the legislative branch and it’s time for Senate Democrats to work together with the House on a long-term CR that contains significant spending cuts needed to fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year. A government shutdown would not save taxpayers any money and could have a negative and direct effect on the everyday lives of Americans ranging from postponed paychecks for troops, delayed Social Security checks for some, and new patients rejected from health care clinics.

My House Republican colleagues and I are committed to repealing costly programs implemented under the Pelosi-Obama regime including Obamacare, which will cost hundreds of billions at a time when our country can’t afford a health system Americans don’t even want.

That’s why one of the very first bills I not only supported, but co-sponsored was to repeal Obamacare in its entirety. Then in February, Republicans passed funding restrictions to severely limit the President’s ability to implement Obamacare.

House Republicans also passed several amendments that would defund Obamacare along with Planned Parenthood during the very first CR which cut $61 billion and passed the House. Unfortunately, the Senate refused to pass this legislation and has no intention of doing so. However, the three-week CR cuts spending- it is not a measure to support or fund Obamacare.

The CR debate is only the first step in a multi-step process by Republicans to rein-in decades of government overspending and to get our fiscal house in order.

My colleagues and I have made it clear that Washington’s spending spree is over. We must to tackle our fiscal issues head on by fighting for more spending cuts and spending reforms that will refuel our economy, just as we pledged to America.

American families are tightening their belts and I am determined to make sure Washington does too.

I encourage you to continue speaking out and making your voice heard by sharing your comments, questions and concerns with me whether it’s on Facebook (, YouTube ( or Twitter (; or contact one of my offices in Washington, D.C. or Joliet (

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