Dear Friends,

Every day, hard-working Americans make tough decisions in order to make ends meet, and the federal government should operate no differently. Our national debt and deficit have reached unsustainable levels and are continuing to grow. It’s time to return to the bipartisan spending policies that allowed us to achieve a surplus in previous decades.

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Last week, I joined Rep. Frank Kratovil of Maryland in announcing our plan to introduce legislation that would require the federal government to cut non-security spending by nearly 6%, saving American taxpayers over $400 billion. The proposal, which would reinstate caps on federal discretionary spending, is a key component of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition’s Blueprint for Fiscal Reform, a comprehensive plan to begin reducing the deficit, balance the budget, and lay the groundwork for sound fiscal policies over the long term.

Reducing non-security discretionary spending is a significant step towards balancing our budget and restoring fiscal responsibility, and I am proud to join Rep. Kratovil in introducing this important legislation.

Specifically, our proposal to cap federal discretionary spending would:
Cut non-security discretionary spending by 2% for each of the next 3 years, and freeze spending levels for the subsequent 2 years.

Complement the recently restored statutory PAYGO law which will help prevent increases in mandatory spending.

Force Congress to prioritize our limited resources and make the tough year-to-year decisions necessary to restore balance to the federal budget.
Originally enacted under bipartisan agreements in the 1990’s, discretionary spending caps have a proven track record of controlling spending and reducing the deficit. Alternatively, since they were allowed to expire in 2002, discretionary spending has jumped by more than $538 billion, an alarming trend that threatens to cripple our nation’s economy and saddle future generations of Americans with mountains of debt.

In the past year, I have also remained committed to restoring fiscal responsibility by:
Co-sponsoring H.R. 4255, which would stop the congressional pay raise for 2011.
Co-sponsoring H.R. 156, which would stop the congressional pay raise for 2010.
Voting against the budget, two pieces of legislation to increase the national debt limit, and two omnibus appropriations bills.
Co-sponsoring H.R. 2920, the Pay-As-You-Go bill, which passed in the House in July and was signed into law in February. This legislation requires that Congress and the President account for increases in federal spending by requiring offsets or ways to generate needed revenue.

I will continue working to rein in government spending, reduce our deficit, and prevent future generations from bearing the burden of our growing national debt. As always, please continue to keep me informed about your opinions and concerns by phone at (202) 225-4306 or by visiting my website at www.childers.house.gov.

Sincerely,

Congressman Travis W. Childers
First District, Mississippi
3/17/10