Jul 26 2011

Graham Opposes Boehner Debt-Limit Plan

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said he opposes the debt-limit plan put forth by Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio).

“Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscience support the Boehner proposal in its current construct,” said Graham.  “The Boehner proposal, no matter how well-intentioned, will be a straight-jacket on real spending reform.

“It locks in spending levels well beyond what our nation can afford,” said Graham.  “It also makes it much more difficult for Congress to enact structural reforms like passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment.  I also have little hope that yet another joint committee of Congress will bring about real change.  I believe it will be seen as yet another attempt to avoid the hard choices.”

Graham noted areas of concern with the proposal:
  • Spending in Fiscal Year 2012 is only reduced by $7 billion under the Boehner plan.  By contrast, the Cut, Cap and Balance legislation reduced spending by more than $100 billion in FY 2012.
  • Over the next decade, if the Boehner plan worked perfectly, it would only reduce spending by $3 trillion.  During that same timeframe the United States will add at least another $6-7 trillion in new debt.
  • The credit rating agencies have recently sounded the warning and said the United States needs a minimum of $4 trillion in spending reductions in the next decade to maintain our AAA rating.

“The credit ratings agencies have made it clear its time to get our nation’s spending problems under control,” said Graham.  “The Boehner proposal only makes minor reductions in spending in the short-term.”

“The time has come for us to break the cycle of Washington spending binges and bring discipline to the system,” said Graham.  “I believe we have a mandate to stop binge spending and reform the federal government in a manner to ensure we do not become Greece."

“We have to stop kicking the can down the road,” said Graham.  “The only hope to bring about structural change is to require passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment accompanied by real and meaningful cuts and caps on spending in the near term.”