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By Congressman Robert Hurt
Government waste, fraud, and abuse have long been the objects of Americans’ disappointment in our federal government. And rightfully so. This reckless spending spree in Washington has led us to more than $16 trillion dollars in national debt, and four straight years of trillion dollar deficits. This amounts to roughly $51,000 owed to our creditors by every American man, woman, and child, and nearly 40 cents borrowed on every dollar spent to sustain this binge.
In 2010, Americans across this country sent new representatives to Washington with an unmistakable demand to put an end to business as usual in Washington and to stop the reckless spending culture. In an effort to reform Washington and put our country on a path to prosperity, the House of Representatives has heeded the calls, demonstrating over the course of this Congress an unwavering commitment to looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars rather than to spend them.
We’ve trimmed federal budgets down, looking for ways to ensure that each tax dollar is allocated both efficiently and effectively. We have adopted legislation to reform our broken budgeting system, which is a large contributor to our debt and deficits. And we have adopted two budgets in two years while the Senate has consistently failed to uphold its end of the bargain. All in all, we have done our part to root out waste, fraud, and abuse by identifying ways in which hard-earned tax dollars can be saved at a time when our economy is crippling under the weight of a $16 trillion dollar debt load.
Though House-passed efforts have been met with inaction in the United States Senate, the dire need for fiscal responsibility and restraint in our nation’s capital still remains. That is why I have offered a bill that would protect 5th District taxpayers and all Americans from federal misuse of their hard-earned tax dollars. The No Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Act will ensure that special interest lobbyists are not using our tax dollars to push a political agenda.
Across this country, our tax dollars have been squandered for the benefit of special interest agendas; they have been used to lobby for a moratorium on new drive-through’s in communities, to limit food and drinks that are deemed “unhealthy” by federal bureaucrats, and to pursue a tax on small business owners who sell certain types of sugar beverages.
And while these are only a few examples, all of this boils down to an egregious waste of taxpayer dollars and unnecessary federal over-reach at a time when the $16 trillion in debt held by the American people threatens the very future of this country. And all of this boils down to the same old behavior that Americans have unfortunately come to expect from Washington.
Consistent with the will of the people, the House continues to work on their behalf to stop the waste, fraud, and abuse. In 2011, as we were sworn in, the people of Virginia’s 5th District told me that if we are serious about preserving this great nation for our children and our grandchildren, we must put an end to the spending spree, and I have remained committed to doing so. Putting an end to Washington’s reckless spending binge will certainly take time, but it starts with eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in Washington, D.C.
The No Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying Act is a step in the right direction to ending business as usual in Washington and saving taxpayer dollars while doing so. This legislation will help restore responsibility in Washington and will help put an end to waste, fraud, and abuse of the taxpayer dollar.
If you need any additional information, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.