Blue Dogs Release Blueprint for Fiscal Reform, Includes Cuellar Budget Bill
Rep. Cuellar's legislation part of landmark Budget Reform plan to draw down the nation's debt and rein-in federal spending
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today joined his colleagues in the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition to release a comprehensive plan aimed at cutting spending and balancing the budget. The “Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform” includes historically bipartisan approaches to rein-in federal spending and draw down the nation’s debt.Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today joined his colleagues in the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition to release a comprehensive plan aimed at cutting spending and balancing the budget. The “Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform” includes historically bipartisan approaches to rein-in federal spending and draw down the nation’s debt.
The 15 step blueprint also includes Congressman Cuellar’s “Performance Based Budgeting” legislation which would require all federal agencies to meet certain performance standards and report the effectiveness of their spending in a transparent, accountable way.
“This common sense policy should be put in practice in Washington, just as it’s been successful at the state level in Texas for many years,” said Congressman Cuellar. “Americans live on a budget. The government should operate on a budget, and we should get the most bang for our buck when it comes to taxpayers’ money.”
The Blue Dog plan, introduced Tuesday, provides a clear pathway for the nation to move forward from record deficits to long-term fiscal sustainability.
Centered on trimming spending and reducing the nation’s deficit, the plan would restore Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) spending rules for Congress, establish a bi-partisan debt commission, eliminate duplicative government programs, audit the Department of Defense and require that Congress balance the budget by 2020.
“This bill represents what I and my Blue Dog colleagues have been saying for years: our system of spending needs fixing and our budgeting needs reform,” said Congressman Cuellar. “In these hard economic times, American families have tightened their budgets and Washington must follow their lead.”
Blue Dogs seek to balance the federal budget and reduce the debt-to-gross domestic product ratio to 60% within 10 years. Tuesday’s rollout comes ahead of the President’s State of the Union address to Congress Wednesday.
In 2009, the White House supported the Blue Dogs in their push for PAYGO in an effort to tighten up spending and restore the fiscal surpluses of the 1990’s. Last July, the House passed PAYGO and the bill now awaits action in the Senate.
Congressman Cuellar’s “Performance Based Budgeting” (PBB) bill, H.R. 2142 the Government Efficiency, Effectiveness and Performance Improvement Act, is built on the budgeting reforms Cuellar authored for Texas while serving in the state legislature from 1987-2001.
PBB requires government agencies to be assessed at least once every five years and would require those agencies to submit transparent budget reports to the President and to the public annually.
“If we don’t shine light on problems, they only get worse in the dark,” said Congressman Cuellar. “These are common sense solutions to common practice problems, and by measuring how we spend money, we can allocate taxpayer dollars more efficiently.”
Congressman Henry Cuellar is a member of the U.S. House Homeland Security, Agriculture, and Government Oversight & Reform Committees in the 111th Congress. Accessibility to constituents, education, health care, economic development, and national security are his priorities. Congressman Cuellar is also a Senior Whip and member of the Blue Dog Coalition.