Griffin No “Fan,” But “Reluctantly Support[s]” Budget Agreement

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the budget agreement (H.J.Res. 59):

“For the three years that I’ve been in Congress, Democrats in the White House and the Senate have blocked any attempt to solve Washington’s spending and debt addiction.  This crisis—and the crippling effect it will have on my children’s future—is what motivated me to come to Washington. I am no fan of this agreement, but I reluctantly supported it because it is better than a government shutdown. As a conservative, I would have preferred and proudly supported a clean vote on the sequester level spending as laid out in the 2011 Budget Control Act; however, there was not support for that proposal, and the vote was never an option.  The Ryan-Murray agreement was the only one we had the votes to pass. Therefore I was left with the current budget agreement or the possibility of more government shutdowns, which are bad policy, help no one and waste taxpayer dollars. Tonight’s vote was another reminder that this is the sort of agreement we get when Democrats control the U.S. Senate and the White House.

“So, while this budget deal is certainly not what I would write, I support it because the alternative is far worse. This budget maintains 92 percent of the sequester and will ultimately lead to smaller deficits, and it will help minimize the Washington routine of discretionary spending squabbles that ultimately get us nowhere in our efforts to enact systemic reforms to autopilot, mandatory spending—the real threat to America’s fiscal stability. This budget will also avoid deep cuts to our military over the next two years, supporting our service men and women at Little Rock Air Force Base and helping to avoid future furloughs for our essential defense employees.   

“I initially was a ‘no’ vote because I know how Washington works: administration after administration spends now, schedules cuts for later and then starts the cycle over again.  This agreement is different in an important respect. Without raising taxes or degrading our military readiness, it achieves more than $20 billion in deficit reduction through reforms to mandatory, or autopilot, spending—reforms that are likely to remain in place.  In a time of divided government, that’s a modest, yet real step in the right direction and a change that will benefit our children.  Let me be clear, I am not a cheerleader for modest reform, but this agreement achieves tangible gains while recognizing the reality of our current situation.”

According to the House Budget Committee; “The bipartisan budget agreement includes specific, concrete spending cuts, which come to a total of $85 billion in savings.” A detailed summary is available here, charts here, and frequently asked questions here