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Vote Alert


NTU urges all Members of Congress to vote "No" on H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

December 11, 2013

By Nan Swift

NTU urges all Members of Congress to vote “No” on H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Despite a great deal of patient negotiations, and the understandable desire to establish some regular-order stability to the federal budget process, the agreement reached by the Budget Conference Committee falls short of taxpayers’ expectations.

H.J. Res. 59 busts the reasonable spending caps enacted just two years ago – proving that once again, Congress cannot abide by even basic fiscal restraints. Much of the “savings” that will supposedly more than offset this action are backloaded, making their realization highly doubtful. To make matters worse, the deal relies on additional revenue streams to underwrite this profligate exercise. Whether these are called “fees” or “taxes” makes little difference to those who will be forced to pay them.

While the Budget Control Act’s modest spending caps have been successful at paring back the enormous deficit weighing down our economy, there is insufficient indication that the provisions of H.J. Res. 59 will achieve the same ends. The accounting artifices used in the deal will merely creatively wring out more funds in order to offset increased spending. This will not pave the way for greater deficit reduction, as some have claimed, just as the increased funds achieved through last year’s “Fiscal Cliff” deal didn’t pay down the debt.

Lawmakers who support eliminating the sequester risk undoing an important tool protecting taxpayers from seemingly endless spending increases. It is true that mandatory spending in the form of entitlements poses an even more grave threat than discretionary spending to our nation’s fiscal health. However, if Congress cannot make the tough choices needed now to prioritize expenditures, cut wasteful programs, and legislate within the bounds of the law, there is little hope that the far more serious reforms needed will ever be achieved.

Roll call votes on H.J. Res. 59 will be heavily weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and “NO” votes will be considered the pro- taxpayer position.