- Congressman Tim Bishop
voted against a partisan plan that would amend the United States Constitution to massively cut Social Security, Medicare and veterans programs. The proposal failed with both Democrats and some Republicans voting in opposition.
Since House Republicans have insisted on balancing the budget without any new revenue, the proposal defeated would have resulted in $1.2 trillion in cuts to Social Security and $750 billion to Medicare over the next 10 years according to an independent analysis. According to the firm Macroeconomic Advisers, enacting such an amendment today would double the nation's unemployment rate and cause the economy to shrink by 17 percent.
"The best way to balance the budget is to create jobs and make sure our economy is working for all Americans, not just the wealthy few," Congressman Bishop said. "This vote was yet another Washington partisan distraction and yet another effort to gut Medicare and Social Security."
Rather than focus on political games, Congressman Bishop urged members to focus on making real deficit cuts through the Congressional Deficit Supercommittee. He is a member of the "Go Big" Coalition of 100 bipartisan House members who support a plan to reduce the deficit by $3 to $4 trillion over 10 years with a balanced mix of spending reductions and closing tax loopholes to increase revenue.
"If my colleagues want to cut the deficit, let's vote to implement a balanced, bipartisan plan," Congressman Bishop said. "The truth is, House Republican
leaders know the substance of their plan to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and middle-class families while preserving tax breaks for the top one percent, has been rejected. So instead of changing the substance, they change the packaging, and they wonder why Congress has a nine percent approval rating."
AARP wrote Congress this week expressing their opposition to the partisan amendment, writing: "H.J. Res. 2 would subject Social Security and Medicare, as well as all other spending, to potentially very deep cuts, without regard to the impact on the health and financial security of individuals. AARP strongly opposes proposals that can result in arbitrary and harmful cuts to Social Security and Medicare."
"Amending the Constitution is no small matter, and one my constituents take seriously," Congressman Bishop added. "I will not vote for a proposal that has such enormous and long-lasting implications for millions of Americans with so little discussion. The "Go Big" Coalition demonstrates there is a reasonable way to put our fiscal house in order without undermining our commitment to seniors and veterans."