Columns

Putting Partisanship Aside and Making Tough Choices

By: U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Patrick E. Murphy | Posted: August 6, 2014 3:55 AM
David Jolly

David Jolly

Whenever we’re home in Florida, our constituents always ask us about the country’s finances. The American people instinctively know that running mindless deficits and carrying an unsustainable debt load hurts our country and their families.

They also know that a balanced budget cannot come without tough choices. Unfortunately, history has shown that Congress refuses to make those tough choices. But some choices don’t have to be tough. There are simple, common-sense solutions to cut our deficit now.

Democrats and Republicans should put partisan bickering aside and come together on things we do agree on: government should be more efficient, taxpayer dollars must not be wasted, and abuse of power must not be tolerated. That is why we, along with 10 other bipartisan members of Congress, including eight members of the United Solutions Caucus, have introduced the third bill in the Savings, Accountability, Value, and Efficiency (SAVE) Act series.

Our latest bill will slash government spending by over $100 billion by implementing such simple solutions as buying software in bulk, preventing the Overseas Contingency Operations from being used as a slush fund, and denying taxpayer-funded pensions for corrupt bureaucrats convicted of federal criminal charges.

Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy

Committing ourselves to finding savings wherever they may be also means merely turning off government computers for four hours a night, improving the energy efficiency of our postal fleet and federal buildings, and fixing a system in which duplicate health payments are made in exchange for no added care or benefits.

Fundamentally, these fiscally responsible measures are similar to actions taken by millions of Americans every day. To save money, we shop around and buy in bulk. We turn off electronics that are not in use. We set a household budget and we stick to it. These actions improve the financial health of families nationwide – it is only proper the federal government does the same on a wider scale.

Combined with the provisions in the first two SAVE Acts – which alone would eliminate about $230 billion – Congress could save the federal government a third of a trillion dollars. This is enough money to fund our military’s salaries, health care, and retirement benefits for over four years. Cutting $332 billion in waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency would show the American people that Congress is serious about the tax dollars it has been entrusted with. By passing the SAVE Acts, we could demonstrate that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress, despite gerrymandered districts, a 24-hour news cycle, and a never-ending campaign cycle, can come together on behalf of the American people.

We are proud this bill is represented by every corner of the United States and viewpoints on the left, right, and center. Gridlock, bickering, and shouting do nothing for the American people, but coming together to develop common-sense solutions is what the public demands of its leaders.

There is no arguing that Washington is a mess, but as we work together on bills like the SAVE Acts, we can give the American people optimism that the government they deserve is closer to reality than they think.



U.S. Rep. David Jolly is a Republican representing FL-13; Patrick E. Murphy is a Democrat representing FL-18.


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (6)

Diane
8:39AM AUG 6TH 2014
Someone needs to educate Patrick Murphy. It is not good for the federal govt to establish a "balanced budget." No room for exigencies, like national disasters. Besides, according to smart economists, after peaking in 2009, which was necessary to pull the country out of the Great Recession, the deficit began falling more rapidly than it has for generations. By 2013, it was down to sustainable levels (Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winner, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office) .
Ralph
8:01AM AUG 6TH 2014
Until both sides begin correcting the revenue side of the budget by eliminating corporate welfare which is an enormous portion of each taxpayers contribution, and closing loopholes, addressing billions in off-shore tax havens - then initiatives such as shutting down computers will have the purpose they inherently offer: not wasting and being greener for the planet's health.
C Breeze
6:33AM AUG 6TH 2014
That's "moron",..NOT "Morton's"...
C Breeze
6:30AM AUG 6TH 2014
There are well over 300 legislative bills, passed by the House, that sit languishing on Harry Reid's desk (I hesitate to even add the title "senator" to this corrupt Morton's name). Until sanity, honor and ethics return to politics and the lapdog media, our country will continue 'in jeopardy'.
Debbie
9:51AM AUG 6TH 2014
So true. The Senate leadership IS the issue.
Diane
8:09AM AUG 6TH 2014
Republicans like to tout all the bills they pass that Senator Reed won't take up. But the fact is, most of their bills carry a "poison pill," like the 50 something bills that included undoing the Affordable Care Act, and bills de-funding EPA - that Fed agency that protects our water and air - and, as the current Republican immigration bill, includes immediate deportation of children without review of asylum needs (life-threatening environments), and deporting undocumented noncriminal immigrants who have lived in the US since childhood and know no other culture or family where their parents come from. Instead, they fund putting National Guard troops on the border who have no arrest power and that border sheriffs don't want. Or maybe they tack on an amendment to buy something totally useless like more military weapon systems that don't work, like the F-35.

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