Vote Explanation for H.R. 3442 — Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2015
Today I voted against H.R. 3442, the Debt Management and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2015, which passed the House 267-151. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I fully support bipartisan efforts to reduce our national debt and to address our worrisome long-term fiscal outlook. This legislation, however, is nothing more than political grandstanding that shifts blame for Congressional inaction to the Treasury Department.
H.R. 3442 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to appear before Congress and submit a report on the Administration’s debt reduction proposals when we reach the statutory debt limit in 2017. The Treasury is charged with managing the debt, not making the decisions that cause it. That is the responsibility of Congress, which under Republican leadership, has considered defaulting on the credit of the United States three times in the past five years. A default would have catastrophic consequences for the global economy and would leave countless seniors and veterans without their Social Security and VA benefits.
This legislation does nothing to resolve our nation’s precarious financial outlook. We need bipartisan congressional action to address this problem, not more finger-pointing.