Is Obama sincere this time about working together to restore our fiscal health? (Rep. Phil Roe)

In the interview, President Obama claims that “everybody’s for a balanced budget amendment in the abstract.”  In fact, I am a co-sponsor of H.J.Res. 1, Congressman Goodlatte’s balanced budget Constitutional amendment, which is specific, concrete legislation pending right now in Congress. It would require the next and all future Congresses to balance the budget, except in the case of wars or military conflict. Given the president did not offer any of his own solutions, I would encourage him to develop consensus around this particular legislation.

This country’s ever-expanding debt and deficits are a fiscal crisis. Ultimately, the government has to live within its means, just like everybody else. An important part of government reform is spending less than you take in. Despite my opposition last year, Congress also spent an amount similar to the administration’s proposed levels of $3.9 trillion, which will be 27 percent of the gross domestic product. This has created the largest federal government since World War II, which has averaged about 19 percent of GDP. This year, the Congress has failed to pass a budget altogether.

Our government needs accountability and balance because our future depends on it. That is why I hope that this time President Obama is serious about sitting down with members of Congress and going over the budget “line by line” in an effort to work together to come up with best solutions to get our nation back on track towards fiscal health.

By sitting down and going through ways to balance the budget together, we can attain a mutual understanding about why many House Republicans are raising concerns and move forward towards solutions. Additionally, I would be happy to share some ideas on how we can enact bipartisan reforms that will decrease the deficit.

As someone who is truly concerned about the direction in which this country is headed, I hope the president’s offer is sincere this time and look forward to engaging on ways to move our country forward – something that has been lacking for much of the last two years.