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Congressman Ted Poe on the Balanced Budget Amendment

As negotiations on the debt limit continue in Washington, DC I remain committed to core conservative principles. We must cut spending, not raise taxes.

I will not support a proposal that includes tax increases. Since coming to Congress, I have never voted in favor of any legislation that increases taxes and that will not change now. When you raise taxes you lose jobs. With unemployment at a record 9.2%, Americans cannot afford to forfeit any opportunity for job growth.

I believe that the only way to reduce the deficit is to make dramatic spending cuts. I also believe that we must enforce spending caps in order to balance the budget, and I support a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. That is why I am a cosponsor of the Balanced Budget Amendment, H.J.Res.1, and why I voted for it when it was reported out of the Judiciary Committee.

Significant, across the board spending cuts are the only way to recover the economy, and Congress is no exception to that rule. Last week the House passed the Legislative Branch Appropriations Bill for FY 2012. This bill included 6.4% (or $227 million) in spending cuts for Members of Congress’ offices. This is on top of the 5% that we cut in FY 2011. I believe in practicing what you preach. During my time in Congress, I have consistently run my Congressional office below budget each fiscal year and have returned money to the taxpayers as well. It is our responsibility as Members of Congress to be careful stewards of the money coming from the people we work for–the American taxpayers.

I am committed to finding ways that the federal government can cut wasteful spending and am open to your suggestions as well. The federal government currently owns 27% (623 million acres) of the total land in the United States. Last week, I introduced the American Land Act, which would require the Administration to open up nearly 1/4 of the land currently owned by the federal government for sale to the American people. This would not include land owned by the National Park Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Allowing Americans to purchase this land would have the potential to generate up to $200 billion or more to pay off the federal budget deficit.

Click here to read CNN’s summary of current debt ceiling proposals and let me know which proposal you support. As always, I appreciate hearing from you.

And that’s just the way it is.

God and Texas,

Ted Poe
Member of Congress
TEXAS

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