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Key Vote Letter Supporting the "Budget Control Act of 2011"

Sunday, July 31, 2011 - 8:00pm

TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011,” which would increase the statutory debt ceiling. This legislation—the product of a bipartisan agreement among Congressional leaders and President Obama—must be approved to avert default, reduce spending, and begin the process of getting America’s fiscal house in order.

This legislation would extend the debt limit in two phases and avoid a default on the obligations of the United States. The first phase would provide for $917 billion in discretionary spending cuts and an immediate increase of up to $900 billion in the debt limit. The legislation would allow for a subsequent debt limit increase of up to $1.5 trillion only if a bipartisan, bicameral committee provides, and the full Congress approves by an “up or down” vote, additional spending cuts in excess of the requested debt limit increase, or a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification by the end of the year.

In sum, this legislation would cut spending by more than the increase in the debt ceiling, provide a workable, enforceable mechanism to ensure that the cuts actually take place, allow for a vote on significant reform to the budget process, and avoid a default by the U.S. government that would create enormous economic harm and destroy jobs.

As is the nature of all compromises, this bill is not perfect. It does not fix America’s long-run debt and deficit problems, nor reform the tax code, two things that Congress still must do. But this legislation is the right thing to do, now. This legislation increases the statutory debt ceiling in a manner that does not trigger an increase in taxes, but instead would force Congress to cut spending.

The Chamber strongly supports the “Budget Control Act of 2011,” The Chamber will consider including votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.

Sincerely,
R. Bruce Josten