WASHINGTON — Congressman Bart Gordon is working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to implement reforms to cut the federal deficit and reign in runaway spending.
“Families in Tennessee and across America have been tightening their belts and making every dollar count. The federal government must do the same,” Gordon said. “The fiscal discipline bills we’ve moved forward in Congress this session may not always make headlines, but they lay the groundwork for lasting reforms that will mean billions of dollars of taxpayer savings.”
Gordon joined fellow members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition in rolling out the Blueprint for Fiscal Reform, a plan aimed at cutting spending and balancing the budget. Gordon cosponsored bills to identify and weed out underperforming programs in the federal budget and to require agencies to make public regular progress reports.
The top priority for Gordon and fellow Blue Dogs was restoring the pay-as-you-go principle to congressional spending, which passed the House in February. PAYGO forces Congress to account for spending dollar-for-dollar rather than pay for programs with increased foreign debt. Gordon was a strong supporter of the original initiative in 1990, which is widely credited with bringing about the federal budget surpluses of the 1990s.
“PAYGO has a proven record of keeping Congress on budget,” Gordon said. “When we introduced it in 1990, PAYGO brought about record surpluses. When it expired in 2002, we returned to record deficits.”
Leading by example, Gordon also brought a critical eye to budgeting in his role as chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology. As a component of his landmark legislation the America COMPETES Act, which the House passed in May, Gordon took steps to eliminate redundancies and improve coordination in federal science education programs.
“It’s easy for lawmakers to look at other legislation and demand cuts in the name of fiscal responsibility. But real government reform means taking a hard look at the priorities you yourself are committed to,” Gordon said.
“I’ve been working hard to invest in STEM education because our country needs an educated workforce to maintain its competitive edge in the world economy. In the America COMPETES Act, we took steps to ensure teachers and students are benefiting best from every taxpayer dollar.”