From the office of Rep. Randy Hultgren (R, Illinois 14th District)…
The full text of the speech is below:
Mr. Speaker, since the people of the 14th District chose me to be their representative in Washington last year, I have fought hard to bring accountability and responsibility back to Congress. Time and again, I voted to cut spending and reduce the size of the federal government and I haven’t been shy about opposing others in my party when I felt that we weren’t doing enough to get our fiscal house back in order.
With every vote, I’m guided by the belief that Washington – like the families and small businesses across the country – needs to live within its means.
I know that the path to renewed and future prosperity lies through a return to fiscal sanity, and not by saddling our kids and grandkids with more debt. Less spending and less debt will also help give small business owners and job-creators the confidence they need to hire and expand, putting Americans back to work and getting our economy moving again.
Unfortunately, this Congress’s efforts to cut spending are, on their own, insufficient. More importantly, any cuts we make today could be reversed by future Congresses.
Long-term deficit reduction and spending restraint can only be accomplished through real structural changes to the way Washington operate and I believe, as many of you do, that a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is exactly the change we need.
I have been an outspoken advocate for a balanced budget amendment even before I went to Washington and one of the first things I did after being sworn in was to cosponsor a balanced budget amendment. A balanced budget amendment would force the federal government to spend only what it takes in and is the surest path to fiscal sanity, less spending and a brighter future for our kids and grandkids
Support for a balanced budget amendment is gathering momentum here in Washington and across the country. In fact, as part of the debt ceiling increase in August, the House and Senate are required to vote on a balanced budget amendment soon.
But, Congress has been here before. In 1995, they nearly passed a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget, but fell one vote short in the Senate. Sixteen years later, we have the chance to finally get it right.
The time is now – it is our responsibility and our duty to support a balanced budget amendment and bring accountability back to Washington.