Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Udall Backs Temporary Budget Agreement to Prevent Government Shutdown

Pushed for Ban on Earmarks Included in Measure; Calls for Responsible Solutions to Federal Government Spending

Today, Mark Udall joined his colleagues in voting for a two-week funding agreement that will prevent a government shutdown while leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives continue negotiating how to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. The measure passed 91-9.

Udall released the following statement after the vote:

“A government shutdown does nothing but assert a political point, while hurting Americans who depend on Social Security, veterans’ benefits and other programs paid for with their tax dollars. I’m glad that we were able to avert a crisis today, and I want to warn my colleagues on both sides of the aisle that as they fight to score political points on this issue, they’re playing with fire.

“There’s no question we need to get serious about cutting waste from the federal budget. I’m glad that the measure we passed today contained no earmarks. I called for a ban on earmarking last year, and I’m glad that the House and Senate have taken steps to end earmarks – hopefully, for good.

“But I want to remind my colleagues that we will never address the systemic problems that have led to our crippling national debt if we focus solely on cuts to discretionary spending. The level of cuts some of my House colleagues propose would cut the federal government’s nose off to spite its face, while leaving unaddressed some of the most glaring problems in our federal budget – entitlements and other structural deficits. That approach is simply irresponsible.

“We need to take steps to rein in government spending – but we need a comprehensive approach. I pushed for the creation of the president’s bipartisan commission on reducing the national debt. As a result, we have a responsible set of recommendations developed after a great deal of research and thought. Now is the time to act on them.”

Udall is working as part of a bipartisan group of senators calling for an up-or-down vote on the president’s bipartisan debt commission. He also continues to fight for other proposals to control spending, including a presidential line-item veto, pay-as-you-go spending, a ban on earmarks, and a balanced budget amendment. More information on his fight to cut spending and reduce the debt can be found HERE.