Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Members of Congress must be accountable for spending in Washington

Congressman J. Randy Forbes

In my recent online survey, I asked people which issues they believe are most critical for Congress to address.  Most (2660 out of 5174) said "taking serious action to reduce government spending." I agree.

Today, the national debt is over $16.4 trillion.  We need to address the deficit and federal spending, but we also need to reform the way in which Congress acts in addressing the fiscal state of our nation. One way to do this is by introducing accountability of Members of Congress into the budget and spending process. Consistent with these goals, I introduced a bill that addresses the root of the problem – unprecedented spending in Washington.

Earlier this month, I reintroduced the Congressional Accountability Pay Act (H.R.284) to tie Members' salaries to the growth in federal spending - the more we spend, the less we make. For instance, if federal spending increases by 7%, congressional salaries are cut by 7%. This legislation ensures that Members of Congress are held personally accountable via their own paychecks. Just like families and businesses across America, Members of Congress need to be accountable for their fiscal decisions. Giving Members a personal stake in spending the tax dollars of the American people will reduce federal spending and rein in the growth of the national debt.

We must make it a priority to put our nation back on a path of fiscal prosperity. Members of Congress should not be afforded special treatment and be made immune from the economic challenges facing our nation. As public servants, we have much work to do to bring down our national debt and reduce deficit spending.  I believe that this bill is an important first step to show that Members of Congress are committed to returning America to a firm fiscal footing.

P.S. - The national debt is more than $52,000 for every American, more than $135,000 for every U.S. household, and is now greater than the size of our economy.