Begich Fights for Serious Spending Cuts and a Balanced Budget
Star of the Show – Alaska seafood was the star of the show when Sen. Begich visited the Boston Seafood Show to view the Alaska products on display.
The U.S. Senate worked through Friday night and into Saturday morning on one of the most crucial issues facing our nation: setting a budget. Since I came to the Senate, I have fought for serious spending cuts and a balanced budget. That is why I voted "No" on the Democratic Senate budget proposal. While the bill was a good start, it didn't go far enough to cut the deficit. The bill would have left our country with a $400-$500 billion deficit in ten years and it fell short of addressing the nation's current $16 trillion debt.
Alaskans expect Congress to find a way to address the staggering debt. Passing this problem off to our children is not an option. We got ourselves into this mess and have a responsibility to get ourselves out—which is why I proposed millions of dollars in cuts and plan to introduce billions more in the coming weeks. Some proposals I have supported include ending giveaways to millionaires, ending wasteful Pentagon programs, voluntary pay cuts for Senators, eliminating duplicative government programs, bringing transparency to farm subsidies, and requiring the Senate to pass a balanced budget. We can either make the tough choices now or face an even tougher road ahead.
Many people are surprised to learn that Congress is not immune to budget cuts either. As the result of sequester cuts, I've begun furloughing my own staff, cut my own office budget by nearly $1 million over the past four years, and have voted against giving members of Congress a pay raise three times. I will also be voluntarily returning a portion of my own salary to the Treasury this year.
I know that this news doesn't relieve the burden that some Alaskans are facing, but I wanted you to know that we are in this together. As we move forward in the Senate, I will do my best to ensure that we have a responsible budget that includes cuts to government waste while ensuring Alaskans don't have to sacrifice critical programs that strengthen our long-term economy.