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Thursday, March 3, 2011 10:43 pm

Schock: Obama’s budget ‘unsustainable’

Congressman Aaron Schock may be young, but he’s not shy about putting his foot down.

Schock highlighted several areas of President Barack Obama’s budget, which he says would raise taxes by $1.6 trillion over 10 years.

“Even with $1.6 trillion in new taxes, if we passed them all…over a 10-year period, we would more than double the nation’s deficit,” he said.

The 29-year-old was back in Washington, D.C., after visits to Springfield and Jacksonville. The Peoria native endured more than 80 hours of debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in late February, keeping hours as late as 5 a.m. The long schedule is just one reason Schock says, “Being the youngest member sometimes comes in handy….”

Schock is a new member of the Ways and Means Committee and trade subcommittee, and has worked with the Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Transportation in Springfield for a consensus on high-speed rail.

Schock runs a tumultuous schedule and says more late nights and early mornings could be expected in the coming week as Congress tries to avoid a government shutdown.

He shared concerns with members of the Citizens Club of Springfield about President Barack Obama’s budget and discussed solutions to national and global issues with Sangamon County residents at the group’s meeting Feb. 25.

“I’m sure all of you watched C-SPAN every day and watch what the House of Representatives is doing,” he said jokingly.

Schock also discussed a continuing resolution in Congress to fund government.

Normally, Congress passes its budget by Oct.1, but failed to pass the budget last year for the first time since the 1974 Budget Act. As a result, legislators have pushed continuing resolutions. Members of the Citizens Club and those at the meeting worried about the rumored shutdown of federal government March 4 if there is no solution.

He told members that Congress will get their first opportunity to vote on spending authority, a time where members can take a stab at much-needed cuts.

“We have a $1.6 trillion deficit,” he said, explaining why Obama’s proposed spending “freeze” doesn’t go far enough. “If you’re running a $1.6 trillion deficit, you’re still spending a $1.6 trillion deficit, so we have to make cuts,” he says. Schock says some have claimed the $100 billion shaved off the budget by House Republicans is insignificant, but he challenges those who oppose the cuts to come up with a better way.

The deficit is approaching the $14 trillion “debt limit.” Schock is a proponent of raising the debt limit to steer the country away from what he calls a “disaster.”

Contact Holly Dillemuth at hdillemuth@illinoistimes.com.
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