Hudson: Another week, more good news, bad news

I have good news and I have bad news.

Personally, I like to hear the good news first because it gives me something to hold onto as I brace for the bad, so let’s start there. The good news is every week I’ve spent in Washington, I’ve been working with both Democrats and Republicans to find solutions to our nation’s problems. From relieving regulatory burdens, to cutting wasteful spending and restoring the 40-hour work week destroyed by Obamacare, I’m fighting for policies that move our country – and our economy – forward.

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson This Week in Washington

U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson
This Week in Washington

But the bad? Despite Congress’ efforts to reach across the aisle to focus on your priorities, the president has refused to come to the table. Since the beginning of the new year, he’s responded by threatening to veto more than 20 bills – including 17 bills that passed the House with bipartisan support. Just last week, before two bipartisan spending bills even made it to the House floor, President Obama said he’d veto them. These bills were so bipartisan and noncontroversial that they unanimously passed their respective committees. My colleagues and I overwhelmingly want to get America on a stronger, more prosperous path, but the president is intent on putting up stop signs. Despite the president’s obstructionism, we’ll continue to work on your behalf in Congress. We want Washington to work just like you do.

That’s why my colleagues and I are fighting to restore order and govern responsibly from a position of opportunity instead of crisis, starting with a regular appropriations process. As you know, Congress and the president must pass laws for the government to spend money. This is typically done through a process where we vote for a budget that sets overall spending levels and then pass a series of appropriations bills. In recent years, Congress and the president have failed to agree on spending bills, forcing passage of continuing resolutions that maintain spending levels for all or part of the year. This is reckless governance. Allowing our bloated government to essentially run on autopilot is no way to save our tax dollars.

Last week, we passed two bipartisan appropriations bills – one to invest in our military infrastructure while prioritizing funding for veteran care, and one to fund our nation’s critical energy programs and water infrastructure.  This historic moment marked the first time since 1974 that Congress has started the appropriations process this early. Not only that, but we passed strong bills that prioritize spending to invest in critical programs and reduce spending for lower-priority areas.

While I appreciate the work of the Appropriations Committee in crafting these bills, I believe there is still room for concrete savings. Our country is facing enormous debt and economic uncertainty and Washington can’t continue to kick the can down the road. Since my first days in Congress, I have fought to cut spending and tackle our debt by rolling back spending to pre-Obama levels. I recognize bold conservative ideas like this are needed to get our fiscal house in order. That’s why I offered an amendment to the Energy and Water Development funding bill that made an across the board cut of more than 11%. Simply put, this would cut spending by nearly $2 billion, which is back to fiscal year 2008 levels.

With over $18 trillion in debt, this is merely a drop in the bucket and we owe it to our constituents to root out waste and reduce spending. While I’m disappointed this amendment did not pass, I will continue to fight against Washington’s reckless spending habits to save our tax dollars and get our economy back on track.

Richard Hudson, a Republican, represents the 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district includes a small part of Mecklenburg County and takes in all or parts of the counties of Cabarrus, Union, Randolph, Rowan, Davidson, Stanly, Anson, Montgomery, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson.

Filed in: Latest Headlines, Opinion

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