(WASHINGTON)– Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement tonight after he voted “no” on H.R. 1954 to implement the President’s request to increase the statutory limit on the public debt:
“Tonight I did what I stated I would do when I ran for the House of Representatives. I voted against increasing a debt ceiling absent of spending control measures to right our fiscal ship of state.
Over the past two years, President Obama and Congressional Democrats have overseen the largest budget deficits in the history of the United States. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid chastised the Republicans and President George W. Bush in 2006 when he stated, ‘Most Americans know that increasing the debt is the last thing we should be doing…any credible economist would tell you we should be reducing debt, not increasing it.’
When the United States Congress was faced with raising the debt ceiling in 2006 Senator Barack Obama stated, ‘The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.’
I stated tonight that I will not vote for this debt increase unless all of the following criteria are met or included in the final bill that would aim to raise the debt limit:
• The United States Congress must pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
• A failsafe trigger mechanism must be put in place that would automatically cut spending if we reach a set percentage limit towards hitting the debt ceiling.
• Federal spending as part of the GDP must be capped at 18-20%.
• Congress must lower the corporate tax rate for American businesses by at least 10% before any vote on raising the debt limit is considered.
The American people sent a Republican Majority to the House of Representatives to reduce spending and put our country on a sustainable financial footing. If I were to close my eyes, abandon my principles, and vote yes to raising the debt limit, Congress would continue to spend the taxpayers’ money without a clear plan to reduce our long term debt. We do not have a revenue problem in Washington – the facts are clear – we have a spending problem.”