U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s statement on House debt ceiling vote

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement on his vote tonight in support of the revised Budget Control Act of 2011, which passed the House by a vote of 269-161:

“Tonight, America turned an important corner. After decades of government growth and out-of-control spending, the debate in Washington has changed from ‘how much can we spend?’ to focus on ‘how can we stop spending money we don’t have?’

“In the 2010 election, the American people told Washington that enough was enough. The days of reckless, wasteful spending were numbered, and the time for fiscal discipline and government accountability was at hand.

“Since then, my colleagues and I in the House have passed legislation that answered the call to rein in spending and reform our broken political system. We got rid of earmarks; passed a budget for fiscal year 2011 with the largest spending cuts in recent history; put forward common sense reforms to preserve our entitlement programs; and, most recently, passed the Cut, Cap and Balance Act, which would have reduced the federal deficit by more than $4 trillion, the amount leading credit rating agencies said was needed if America was going to avert a credit downgrade.

“I have done my best to honor the will of the American people and to right the ship for this and future generations.

“Having said that, with only one-half of one-third of the federal government, the House can only do so much. That is not an excuse, that’s the reality.

“Nevertheless, we are moving the debate in the right direction. The Budget Control Act passed tonight cuts government spending more than it increases the debt limit; implements spending caps to restrain future spending; advances the cause of a Balanced Budget Amendment; prevents a job-killing national default; rejects tax hikes; and keeps entitlement reform on the table.

“While imperfect, it’s a start. We will and we must continue our steady campaign against our nation’s $14.3 trillion debt and the spending addiction that got us here in the first place.

“My thanks to all of my constituents who have raised their voices during this important debate; you have been heard.

“I ask that you continue to hold Washington accountable and demand that the government live within its means, just as you and your families and neighbors have learned to do.”

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