As former Secretary of Finance for the state of Delaware, I understand the importance of fiscally responsible policies that successfully balance short-term demands against long-term budgetary discipline. As a result, during my tenure we were able to reduce the state’s debt, cut taxes, and earn the first AAA bond rating in Delaware history. One reason I came to Washington was to bring these same common sense policies to our federal government, and to make the tough decisions necessary to put the country on better fiscal footing. I have been a strong advocate for a comprehensive deficit reduction plan that makes real progress on deficit reduction over the long-term, while continuing to make strong investments in areas critical to economic growth.

  • Long-term deficit reduction: For too long, Democrats and Republicans have spent trillions of dollars the nation didn't have. I wasn't in Congress to approve that spending, but I'm there now -- and I am committed to finding a more responsible approach. Since I took office, I've voted for legislation that will reduce the deficit by $3.9 trillion over the next decade. While the process has been messy, we are slowly making progress toward the $4 trillion goal for deficit reduction put forward by most economists and analysts. As we move forward, I will continue to champion balanced deficit reduction efforts that don’t undermine our economic recovery and maintain investments in important areas like infrastructure, clean energy, and job training programs.

  • Balancing the budget in a responsible way: While balancing the budget will take years, we should make changes now to ensure that when we do achieve a balanced budget, we don’t whittle it away as we did in the 2000s after President Clinton left office with a surplus. I have introduced a responsible balanced budget amendment that would force the government to live within its means -- while completely protecting Social Security and ensuring that the federal government can continue to pay for capital investments that are typically financed over the long-term, including bridges, military planes, and technology research. This approach would also allow for emergency spending, but only in the case of recession or war.

  • Changing the way Washington does business: To chart a responsible fiscal path forward, Congress must begin to change the way it budgets valuable taxpayer resources. We can do this by bringing many of the same practices that are successful in Delaware to Washington. I was astonished when I arrived in Congress and learned about all the various tricks and gimmicks used in federal budgeting. That is why I introduced bipartisan legislation that would enact simple but effective changes to the budget process and make it more transparent to ensure that lawmakers and constituents have a clear understanding of the true costs of proposals and programs. In addition, I proposed an up-or-down vote on all terminations, reductions, and savings to various federal programs as proposed by the Office of Management and Budget.


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