U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords today praised President Obama for supporting legislation to require that any new mandatory government spending be matched with budget cuts.
"The federal government needs to do what most American families do," said Giffords. "We need to restrain spending, pay our bills and live within our means."
Giffords and other fiscally responsible members of Congress were at the White House this afternoon as President Obama announced his support for legislation to reinstate statutory pay-as-you-go rules. Known as PAYGO, these requirements to offset spending increases were in place in the 1990s. They were instrumental in allowing the federal government to balance its books and achieve a $128 billion budget surplus.
"Our country faces a $1.8 trillion budget deficit," Giffords said. "If we do not begin paying our bills, we will short-change our children and grandchildren by saddling them with higher taxes and cutting federal investments in education, health care and national security."
The PAYGO bill marks the first time the Obama Administration has officially transmitted legislation to Congress. The proposed legislation would require any new spending initiatives be paid for; if they are not offset, automatic cuts are triggered.
"This is a clear indication of the president's commitment to restoring fiscal responsibility and accountability to government over the long-term," Giffords said. "It is critical that we begin working together to achieve this goal."
Giffords is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally responsible members of Congress who have worked for years to require the federal government to spend within its means. She has cosponsored statutory PAYGO legislation in the 110th and 111th Congresses.