Senators Wrong to Threaten Shutdown to Force Spending Increases
(Washington D.C.) – In 2011, as part of a bipartisan agreement to authorize trillions in new federal debt, Congress and the president agreed to spending caps that would govern the federal budget through 2021. Leaders in both parties hailed the accord as an example of how they could work together to impose fiscal discipline even as the national debt increased every year. Now however, Senate Democrats are threatening a shutdown and currently preventing a debate of multiple federal spending bills that adhere to these previously-agreed to limits. President Obama has also threatened to veto bills that do not include additional spending above those caps. If the Senate is prevented from debating and passing spending bills, then federal agencies may begin to shut down on October 1, when current spending authority expires. Unable to proceed with the normal process for debating spending bills, Congressional leaders are considering fallback plans to avoid a partial or complete shutdown.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“This is no time for Congress to be playing politics. Unemployment is at 5.3 percent nationwide – 6.6 percent among Hispanics — wages are still not growing sufficiently, and consumer confidence is weakening. Rather than holding bills hostage and threatening a shutdown, Members of the U.S. Senate should adhere to the fiscal discipline they previously agreed to and allow a bipartisan floor debate about spending priorities. The President needs to show leadership, stick with longstanding and bipartisan commitments to rein in spending, and work with Congress on a budget and spending bills that will work in the best interest of the American people.”