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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

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Congress' Missed Opportunity

Posted: 08/02/11 03:02 PM ET

It is unfortunate that Congress missed an opportunity today to seriously take on debt reduction with a balanced approach. While I strongly believe America must reduce its debt and rein in federal spending, the proposal we voted on today was not fair, well thought out, or a balanced deal for our fragile economy or the millions of middle class families struggling to make ends meet.

Earlier this week, I supported over $2 trillion in spending cuts without additional revenues, and last December I voted to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans that are blowing a hole in the deficit. I was willing to vote for a real compromise. But the fact is, there is nothing in this deal that will address the significant jobs crisis we are facing. This deal, cut behind closed doors with zero transparency, is an unbalanced approach that cuts deeply into discretionary spending while being overwhelmingly stacked in favor of large corporations who exploit loopholes and the wealthiest among us. It is simply not in the best interests of the middle class and the larger economic recovery so I could not support it.

I have not been in Washington long, but long enough to know it is broken. As I travel across New York, the people I meet are focused entirely on jobs and economic security for their families. Congress should take this charge as its own. I will continue to look for bipartisan ways to reduce the debt in a responsible way and create jobs in this struggling economy. The truth is, today we could have gone further in reducing America's debt with a sensible compromise that both cut discretionary spending and raised revenues. It is unfortunate Congress missed that opportunity.

 

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