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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
View From the Capitol -- Opposition to Obama debt ceiling move, Keystone pipeline decision; support for caution on SOPAPosted Friday, January 20, 2012, at 5:14 PM
Efforts to rein in runaway spending and get our economy on the right track were dealt a serious blow, this week, when President Obama was allowed to increase our national debt ceiling by $1.2 trillion. He took this unwise and irresponsible action despite the wishes of the House of Representatives which approved a resolution disapproving of the President's request for the increase. Sadly, the Democrat-controlled Senate failed to act responsibly and refused to block the President from increasing the debt burden on future generations.
A few facts from the U.S. Treasury Department that we must consider when discussing the national debt:
1) As of this month, America's national debt tops $15 trillion
On top of this, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reports the amount borrowed from future generations for every new dollar of government spending is 36 cents. The CBO also tells us the federal government is expected to spend $238 billion on interest -- alone -- this year! That is higher than 1972's TOTAL federal spending which amounted to $230 billion! Enough is enough. It is high time America stopped the reckless spending and got its fiscal house in order.
With his upcoming budget proposal, which is due February 6th, President Obama has the opportunity to put forward a credible plan to restore our country's financial well-being. The millions of out-of-work Americans who are waiting for job-creators to begin hiring again cannot afford to wait through more of the same old failed proposals. America must demand an end to policies that don't work and strict adherence to common sense policies that will restore America's economic viability and get our country working again.
In a sad and baffling move, the Obama Administration has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline project that would bring oil from Alberta, Canada to the United States. America needs energy. We have a friendly neighbor wanting to sell us oil, but the Obama Administration is rejecting the project, choosing to side with environmentalists rather than the American people.
The Keystone project, which has bipartisan support, would create 20,000 construction jobs and 118,000 more in related industries. Rejecting this needed project is an economically destructive, missed opportunity. President Obama has spoken of the importance of shovel-ready jobs, yet he is now saying "no" to thousands of shovel-ready jobs and "yes" to higher gas prices and more dependence on foreign oil.
Where do we go from here? Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has expressed his "profound disappointment with the news." It is good news for China, as this Canadian oil might now be headed to China instead of right here in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States. I am going to continue to fight for this project and other job-creating initiatives.
On another issue, our offices in Washington and throughout the Fourth District have been receiving a lot of calls regarding legislation to combat Internet piracy. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been undergoing changes in the House Judiciary Committee -- and the Chairman of that committee has announced the bill is being shelved until there is wider agreement on the legislation. While we all agree Internet piracy is a serious problem, we must find a sensible way to combat this growing threat without inadvertently making the Internet less secure or infringing on free speech. I will continue to closely monitor this legislation as it continues to undergo serious changes to ensure it doesn't trample our rights.
It is always a pleasure to hear from you and to listen to your views and concerns. If you plan to visit the Washington area, please stop by our office at 1023 Longworth House Office Building. In the 4th Congressional District, you are welcome to come by our offices in Jefferson City, Harrisonville, Lebanon, and Sedalia. You can also keep up with us by going to our website at www.hartzler.house.gov where you can link to our pages on Facebook and Twitter. It is an honor to serve you.
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Vicky Hartzler is the U.S. representative for Missouri's 4th Congressional District. She was raised on a farm in Archie, and lives with her husband, Lowell and daughter, Tiffany, on a working farm in Cass County. She is a graduate of both the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri) in 1992, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S. in Education from MU and a M.S. in Education from Central Missouri. For more information, visit http://hartzler.house.gov.
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