These are just the latest warnings of the disaster we face if Congress does not begin making the tough choices to restore fiscal discipline. Washington politicians have heard it from policy experts, from public servants, and above all from the people. When will they start to listen? How much plainer can we make the stakes? What more will it take to get the message through?

I was proud to fight for the strongest possible debt commission, and I will push Congress for an up-or-down vote on each of their recommendations. But the co-chairs have already laid out what needs to be done to get our fiscal house in order, and this House must not waste any opportunity to take action.

As Members put together the appropriations bills for the next fiscal year, they should work creatively and aggressively to cut spending levels and do more with less.

As I have proposed, they should start by reducing congressional pay by five percent. Congress needs to lead by example before they ask the rest of the federal government to make cuts. They must then go on to find big and small ways to save billions of taxpayer dollars.