News release from US Senator Dick Lugar, dated August 2, 2011 – see the webmaster’s note at the end of this post:
Lugar Statement on Debt Reduction
(August 2, 2011) – U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar will vote for the final default avoidance plan that substantially cuts government spending by at least $2.4 trillion, implements spending caps to restrain future spending, and advances the cause of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the constitution.
“Initially, President Obama asked Congress to raise the limit on U.S. debt without any cuts in spending. He then asked for increases in taxes. Republicans succeeded in gaining substantial cuts in spending and no increases in taxes. We were also successful in gaining spending caps to restrain future spending. We were not successful in convincing the President or Democrats – who control the Senate – to support the Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. However, the final agreement continues to advance the cause with additional votes and incentives to encourage more support for it,” Lugar said. “Additional deficit reductions will be determined by Congress and not an outside commission nor the President. If the Congress fails to find agreement, then mandatory cuts kick in. This is also a victory for conservative fiscal responsibility.”
“Though the bill isn’t everything we wanted, it’s still a victory for conservatives over President Obama’s out-of-control spending and big government policies. And we stopped his efforts to increase taxes dead in its tracks,” Lugar said.
In voting for the plan in the House of Representatives where it passed 269-to-161, Cong. Mike Pence said, “Leadership means knowing when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no.’ The time has come to get something done and move onto policies that will further advance our fiscal solvency and put Hoosiers back to work.”
Last week, Governor Mitch Daniels said in support of the Boehner Plan that, “I hope Congress passes it and then begins work immediately on step two of our long march back to national solvency and economic prosperity.”
Lugar voted for Boehner deficit reduction plan on July 29 and against the proposal by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid on July 31.
On July 22, Lugar voted for the Cut, Cap and Balance Plan, which he co-sponsored. That bill was defeated 51-46, with Democrats all opposed and Republicans all in support. The Cut, Cap, and Balance Plan becoming law would have averted a default.
Lugar was an original co-sponsor of Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-PA) legislation that would prioritize payments to Social Security recipients, military personnel and interest on the national debt if the federal government had gone into default.
On May 25, Lugar voted for the Ryan Budget and the Toomey Budgets. Lugar said then that, “the Senate Democratic leadership opposes a constructive debate on dealing with our $14 trillion debt. In voting to proceed to a budget, Republicans are saying that we are prepared to begin a constructive debate. Republicans are also saying that we want to protect and preserve Medicare. Democrats, on the other hand, want to protect the status quo, which would push Medicare into bankruptcy.”
“I have supported the Balanced Budget Amendment 16 times. It is a common sense and prudent proposal to rein in spending. In March of 1995, the Senate was only one vote shy of passing this amendment. Since that time, nearly $10 trillion has been added to our national debt. Passing a Balanced Budget Amendment now will go a long way in improving our long-term economic security and job growth potential,” Lugar said. The Boehner bill also included the balanced budget amendment.
Lugar’s fiscal conservative and pro-economic growth voting record has been consistently recognized with the Spirit of Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Guardian of Small Business Award from National Federation of Independent Businesses, as well as the Watch Dog of the Treasury Award.
Lugar has also supported significant tax reform, including scrapping the income and the IRS, and putting in place the FairTax, .