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Thompson Times March Newsletter
March 6, 2013
It has been more than 1,400 days since the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a budget. You don’t have to look much further than this fact to understand why Washington now spends on average $1 trillion more than it takes in each year.
Unfortunately, the Senate is also proof as to why President Obama’s sequester has yet to be replaced with responsible spending reductions. Today marks 300 days since the House first acted to replace sequestration with targeted reforms that achieve the same level of deficit reduction without harming the economy. Now, it has been almost a full week since the sequester cuts took effect, yet the President has still offered no constructive plan forward and the Senate has taken no action.
We all must make sacrifices in order to reduce the debt and fix Washington, for we cannot spend money we don't have on the backs of future generations. Raising taxes to chase after trillion dollar deficits, as the President suggests, is a recipe for economic decline - and does nothing to fix Washington’s spending problem.
For this reason, in the weeks ahead, the U.S. House will continue to hold the President and Senate accountable and continue to push for fiscal restraint. Below you will find a quick update with the latest in what is happening on this front and in Washington.
As always, please let me know whenever I can be of assistance.
Congressman Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson
House Pressures Senate to Pass a Budget for the First Time in Four Years: What many people do not realize is that the Senate has not passed a budget – one of the most basic functions of government – in more than four years.
Earlier this month, the House passed H.R. 325, the “No Budget, No Pay Act.” The concept of this bill is very simple. If Congress – the House or the Senate – does not pass a budget, Members of Congress do not get paid.
While Pennsylvania families and small businesses have been forced to tighten their belts to live within their means, our colleagues in the Senate have failed to even consider a budget. In order to get our nation’s spending under control, we must do so through responsible budgeting.
On February 6, 2013, this measure was signed into law by the President. This is one small but important step to getting the nation back to fiscal balance.
Thompson Launches Bipartisan Congressional Natural Gas Caucus: On February 22, 2013, I announced the expanded, four-member leadership team for the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus. This past week, the Caucus held its organizational meeting and first briefing for the 113th Congress, a panel discussion with policy and industry experts. The Caucus will serve as a forum to educate Members of Congress and the public on the growing importance of natural gas in meeting the nation’s energy needs and explore the policy challenges that must be leveraged for American consumers and domestic industries to continue benefiting from this abundant, low-cost energy source. Click here to learn more.
Named National Policymaker of the Year from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE): This week, I was awarded the National Policymaker of the Year Award from the ACTE. This award - which was also presented to Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), my fellow co-chair on the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus - is presented annually by the ACTE Board of Directors to policymakers who have made a significant impact on policy related to CTE programs.
ACTE Board President, Karen Mason, stated: "Representatives Thompson and Langevin have been outspoken supporters of Career and Technical Education during the 112th and 113th Congresses. Their support during funding debates and recent reauthorization attempts of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Workforce Investment Act make a difference for CTE students and educators, and we want to recognize them today for those contributions and for the continuing support we know they will make in the future."
Thompson Introduces Bill to Expand Forest Product Market Opportunities (Click Here): "On March 6, 2013, U.S. Representatives Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) introduced the Forest Products Fairness Act of 2013. The legislation opens new market opportunities for American forestry producers by allowing forest products to qualify for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Biobased Markets Program, also known as the BioPreferred Program...United States Senators Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced a companion bill in the Senate..."
Thompson Renews Bipartisan Push to Expand Awareness on the Importance of Career & Technical Education (Click Here): "During this time of record high unemployment, Career and Technical Education Programs provide a life line for the under employed who look to begin new careers alongside young adults just starting out in the rapidly evolving job market. As we move toward Fiscal Year 2014, I join with a bipartisan group of my colleagues, in not only recognizing the importance of maintaining these federal investments for our country's future..."
Thompson Responds to President's State of the Union Address (Click Here): "I had hoped to hear from the President a pro-growth plan that will expand opportunity for all Americans and generate revenues needed to get Washington back to fiscal solvency,” added Rep. Thompson. “Unfortunately, the President merely acknowledged the nation’s escalating spending path and combed over a record of persistently high national unemployment, while once again failing to offer concrete solutions to achieve fiscal balance and sustained growth...I will continue to work with both parties to find solutions to the nation’s challenges, but tonight I’m left unfulfilled by the lack detail and direction put forward by the President...”