Collectively, Washington has once again avoided the tough decisions needed to reduce our unsustainable debt and strengthen the economy for all Americans. This is a clear failure of leadership on behalf of the Obama Administration.
During my first month in office, I supported a clean debt ceiling extension without condition because I sincerely wanted to give all parties time to reach a reasonable compromise to avoid default and start addressing both our near-term spending and long-term debt crisis.
The lack of willingness on behalf of the Obama Administration and Senate Democrats to engage whatsoever in that process leads me to believe they have no sincere interest in addressing these pressing issues.
As a result, the legislation put before us last night was tantamount to accepting the failed policy of endless borrowing from China, Japan and the Social Security Trust Fund to satisfy an ever-expanding government bureaucracy. I can't support that.
Although we'll all be glad when this current impasse is over, the fundamental issues at hand remain unchanged: We're nearly $17 trillion in debt and are in the process of bankrupting programs like Social Security and Medicare.
Democrats and Republicans must finally end the process of kicking these difficult issues down the road for someone else to deal with. Our debt is hurting our ability to create family-sustaining jobs right now, it's a national security threat and it's making us uncompetitive globally.
We simply can't keep spending money we don't have.
In the last few days, I've been called an extremist for advocating ideas that President Obama and Senate Democrats said they would not accept.
Yet the U.S. House has said we'd no longer ignore our skyrocketing national debt. That didn't stop President Obama from sending us unbalanced budgets that not only failed to address this crisis, but exacerbated it -- budgets that didn't even receive reliable support from fellow Democrats.
Only House Republicans offered a credible plan to address these issues.
Yet, somehow driving our nation into the abyss of unrecoverable debt and handing the bill to future generations isn't considered extreme. That's incredible to me.
Since my first day in office, I've sought opportunities to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to address these issues. I supported common-sense solutions to control spending on the fastest-growing parts of our budget, grow our economy and create opportunity for all Americans, while reducing government regulation of small businesses and our healthcare. Most of these proposals had the support of Democrats and Republicans.
Much of this recent debate centered on House Republican opposition to Obamacare. I supported efforts to repeal and defund the law because countless local small business owners told me it would cost jobs in our district. The vast majority of my constituents shared their opposition.
While I strongly advocated for my constituents' concerns, I understood the political reality of what was possible, and worked with my colleagues to seek a compromise. That's why, prior to the government shutdown, I supported legislation that kept the federal government open and called for a one-year delay of the Obamacare mandate that every American citizen must buy health insurance.
This came months after President Obama, without Congressional approval, unilaterally delayed the employer mandate for a year; it's reasonable to ask that individual citizens be given the same protection that has already been granted to big business. The president and Senate Democrats refused to even consider this.
It's time to get America moving again. I have never pretended to have a monopoly on good ideas and remain willing to work with anyone who has a credible proposal to spur economic growth, create jobs and address the crushing debt burden we're mounting for ourselves and for future generations.
I strongly encourage all citizens to remain engaged in this process and demand leadership from their elected officials, including me.
-- Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry represents the 4th District, which includes York County.