The Moore American

Local News

November 5, 2013

Let’s start where we agree

MOORE — Political opinions aside, it is clear that our economy is broken and that our debt is growing at an alarming rate. In fact, the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office recently called our situation “unsustainable indefinitely.” The entire nation was reminded and awakened to this grave reality over the last several weeks—first with the lapse in appropriated funds that caused shutdown and second with the debt ceiling deadline that, without action, would have resulted in default. 

While both sides eventually agreed on a short-term funding measure to reopen the government and protect the full faith and credit of the United States, it wasn’t the long-term solution that our country hoped for or still needs. The American people long for leaders in Washington to set the example of working together. Instead, we have grown accustomed to living crisis to crisis, relying on short-term fixes that allow our debt to keep rising with no end in sight. In fact, this bad habit of not passing an actual budget through both chambers has been going on since 2009.

Fortunately, along with the funding agreement, lawmakers approved the formation of a budget conference committee to reconcile the two very different budgets of the House and Senate. As one of the House Republican conferees, I am encouraged by the opportunity to negotiate real reforms and hope we can work together to find common ground.

Now the challenges we face on this committee are significant. The task ahead will not be easy and cannot be taken lightly. But as I’ve said before, if we have any chance at a solution, we need to start where we agree. We also need to realize that negotiations don’t and shouldn’t end in this committee. Rather, the discussion should be the starting point that encourages lawmakers and the president to acknowledge and address our fiscal challenges.

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