Washington must listen to Americans, face debt crisis

Washington's thinking simply doesn't match its wallet. And as a result, New Mexico suffers. Our small businesses can't survive, because every new program comes with new regulations, new taxes, and new ways to choke off productivity. Our people struggle to make ends meet as prices rise and government promises fail. The president recently joked that "shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected." But to New Mexicans out of work, broken promises are no laughing matter. In 2009, the president promised that by spending even more taxpayer money, he could keep unemployment below 8 percent. Unemployment is now 9.2 percent.

Knowing how desperately we need job creation, I proposed legislation earlier this year to help put Americans back to work. Overbearing restrictions have killed over 20,000 logging jobs nationwide. So, I introduced a simple, two-page bill that says the government should get out the way and let American businesses create the timber jobs that once drove local communities. Commonsense ideas like these can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in America.

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Instead, Washington has tried for over two years to spend our way out of recession. We've seen the results. We've lost 1.9 million jobs, 13 million more Americans are on food stamps, gas prices have doubled, health insurance is more expensive, home values have fallen, and the federal debt has risen to record levels -- a back-breaking share of $46,000 for each American. Isn't it time we try a new approach?

Americans want real solutions. This is why I voted against H.R. 1, the House's lukewarm budget proposal, earlier this year. The bill simply didn't show that Washington is listening. It didn't demonstrate the real change we need: change in the way we spend, the way we operate, even the way we think. We must promote policies that allow businesses to put Americans back to work. We must stop spending money we don't have on programs we cannot afford. Increasing our debt limit doesn't fix the problem. So, when the president asked Congress earlier this month to write him another blank check, I said no. 

Recently, I emailed 47,000 constituents asking for their opinion regarding the debt ceiling. Over 83 percent of those who responded said that they do not support legislation like what the President asked for -- a debt limit increase with no corresponding spending cuts. An overwhelming 93 percent said that Washington is not doing enough to address our national debt. And even more -- over 97 percent -- said that this issue is important to them, with 92 percent calling it "very important."

Americans made their voices heard last November, and they are continuing to do so. We are tired of our money being wasted on programs we don't need and can't afford. We are afraid for the futures of our children and grandchildren. We are tired of struggling to pay our bills while we watch Congress continue to rack up more debt. We are tired of Washington politicians not making tough decisions and standing firm. It is time to stop kicking the can down the road. It is time for real, serious solutions to our national debt. I am ready to tell Washington, "Enough is enough." I will continue to stand against Washington's wasteful spending, and demand that we face our nation's debt crisis.