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Looking ahead to the 112th Congress

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By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

This week marks the official start to the 112th Congress.  Members of this new Congress, including myself, will be officially sworn into office by the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner.  We face many challenges as we enter into this historic session, including out of control government spending, record unemployment numbers, and many others.  These issues touch the lives of every American.  

As economic uncertainty continues, many across our nation are looking to the government for leadership during this difficult time. The Democratic controlled Congress responded by raising taxes, increasing federal spending at an unsustainable pace, allowing our national debt to spiral out of control, and passing legislation that gives the federal government more control of our daily lives.  They have spent trillions on bailouts and stimulus packages to help grow our economy, but all it has done is increase our debt and the size of the federal bureaucracy while leaving our nation’s unemployment rate hovering around ten percent.  

We simply cannot continue down this fiscally irresponsible path. It is time Congress takes control of spending instead of letting it control the Congress.  In these challenging economic times it is even more important for government to control spending. The federal government must work to both eliminate every cent of waste and squeeze every cent of value out of each dollar our citizens entrust to it.  With families and small businesses all across our nation making tough decisions each day about what they can and cannot afford Congress should not be allowed to ignore these tough decisions when creating spending policies for the federal government.  
 
For this reason, in the opening days of this new Congress, I will be introducing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.  My legislation, which has had bipartisan support in the past, ensures that the federal government is held accountable and that the money our citizens work so hard to earn is not squandered on wasteful spending and programs.  Specifically, the legislation forces Congress to enact fiscally responsible spending measures and reduce the deficit by requiring that total spending for any fiscal year not exceed total receipts.  Reigning in out of control government spending is the first step in growing our national economy.

I am proud to represent one of the most beautiful and diverse districts in the country and I am honored to continue to carry the voice of the 6th Congressional District to Washington, D.C. Be assured, as your Congressman I will not shy away from the challenges at hand.  I look forward to working in the 112th Congress on real solutions that will reduce government spending, grow our economy, and create American jobs.  We in Congress must all work together to create effective public policy that benefits the American people.

To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.