Fiscal Responsibility and Government
Crafting a budget for the federal government is one of the most fundamental duties of the U.S. Congress. Just like a family’s budget, the federal budget is a reflection of our national values and priorities. And just like a family budget, we must identify the waste to cut in order to spend on the things that are most important to us. I believe we need to rigorously cut waste and excess, while simultaneously making smart investments in health care, education, support for small businesses, and improvements to our infrastructure. I believe that a core tenet of being an elected official is to be upfront about spending decisions, to explain both the benefits and the cuts.
An example of this backward budgeting mindset is the 2017 tax bill proposed by Congress and enacted by President Trump. This legislation permanently slashed taxes for corporations and the richest Americans, while adding more than a trillion dollars to our national debt. In my mind, that’s the definition of fiscal irresponsibility – giving away permanent tax breaks to corporations without being clear what vital programs will be cut to pay the bill. We should not balance the federal budget on the backs of Middle Class families, seniors, students, or veterans — and the public should be informed about how these new bills will be paid.
I strongly disagree with the usage of government shutdowns as a bargaining tactic during budget negotiations. After being elected in 2018, I was sworn into Congress in the middle of the longest government shutdown in history, which lasted thirty five days. During that period, I led a group of Freshman lawmakers to draft the Shutdown to End all Shutdowns Act, which would suspend pay for Members of Congress and suspend travel for senior Executive Branch officials in the event of a federal government shutdown. I believe that the all-too common pattern of using the federal workforce as leverage in budget negotiations is political brinkmanship at its most cynical, and it must end.
Solving our country’s debt and deficit issues starts with an efficient and effective government that invests in the future of the American people. I will continue advocating for a responsible federal budget that reduces government waste and puts people before corporate profit.