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Bill Flores: Congressional District 17 Update

Congressional Update

Howdy Texans!

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down an overreaching rule by the EPA that would have negatively affected Texas’ electric supply and hundreds of jobs. Also last week, the Congressional Budget Office issued an update on the budget and economic forecast. Finally, I will present the third edition of information regarding the Path to Prosperity Budget.

CSAPR Court Ruling
On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). This ruling stops one of the Obama administration’s many regulatory assaults on American jobs and economic growth. The court ruling is a big win for Texas jobs and for the state’s electric energy supply. CSAPR would have forced closures of facilities in Texas that are an integral part in the state’s electric grid, jeopardizing the available supply of power to Texas consumers and businesses. In particular, this rule would have forced the closure of Luminant’s generating and related coal facilities in Fairfield, which would have cost the community 500 jobs.

This proposed regulatory overreach by the EPA was based upon faulty science and radical environmental ideology. For too long the EPA has abused its powers and has become a regulatory body that keeps moving the goal posts for the American economy. The court’s ruling spares some states from being required to reduce air pollution by more than they actually contribute; an overly burdensome regulation that would continue to impede job growth and disrupt the supply of safe, clean, and affordable energy production.

My office remains committed to returning our federal government to a regulatory structure that is based upon the use of sound science and real-world, cost-benefit analyses. In this regard, we will continue to fight the efforts of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats that try to impose rules and regulations upon the American economy that exceed their authority as intended by Congressional statutes.

Updated CBO Outlook
On Wednesday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an update to the Budget and Economic Outlook for FY2012 through FY2022. The update shows that based on our nation’s current path, which includes the pending tax increases and sequester cuts, the U.S. economy will be forced into another recession and the unemployment rate would rise above 9% in 2013. The report also shows that the 2012 deficit will exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year and the debt will grow by $10 trillion over the next ten years. This update clearly illustrates that the president’s economic policies have failed and will continue cause poor economic growth.

The House has passed legislation that would avoid this recession by extending the current tax rates and replacing the sequestration with common-sense spending reductions. Unfortunately, the president and the Senate have yet to take up these bills nor offer a creditable plan to avoid this recession. It is my hope that with the findings of this report that the Senate and president act promptly on these House passed bills so that America can once again be put on the track to prosperity.

To view the CBO update CLICK HERE.

Path to Prosperity Budget – Stopping the Sequester and Cutting Spending
In the past two e-newsletters we have discussed the House passed Path to Prosperity Budget. In last week’s edition, we discussed tax reform provisions and in the previous week’s edition we discussed the provisions to preserve and protect Medicare for current seniors and for future generations. This week, I will discuss how the budget works to stop the sequester and out of control government spending.

In January 2013, America will be subject to approximately $50 billion in cuts to defense funding. Defense manufacturers and suppliers are beginning to make plans to compensate for these looming cuts. These cuts will result in layoffs and closures. Some economists have estimated that between 1.5 million to 2.1 million Americans will lose their jobs as a result of the sequester. The Path to Prosperity Budget ensures that our military men and women do not pay the price for Washington’s failure. This budget reprioritizes sequester savings to focus on the problem, which is government spending, and to protect national security from deep and indiscriminate cuts. It achieves these goals by giving six House committees reconciliation instructions to produce legislation that achieves the savings called for under the Budget Control Act without haphazard cuts that the administration could make.

The refusal by some in Washington to adhere to the federal budget process has allowed government to spend recklessly and throw tax dollars at problems on an ad hoc basis as the nation’s fiscal hole grows deeper. The Path to Prosperity Budget cuts government spending from its current elevated level of 24% of the economy to 20% by 2015. Relative to the president’s proposed  budget, the Path to Prosperity Budget cuts spending by more than $5 trillion and shows more than $3 trillion in lower deficits over the next ten years. This budget sharply reduces publicly held debt as a share of GDP over its first ten years. By contrast, the president’s budget drives the debt further in the wrong direction and allows the federal government’s fiscal position to deteriorate after that. This budget establishes a binding cap on total spending as a percentage of the economy, making certain the federal government remains limited so the economy can remain free.

Congress has a responsibility to our nation and future generations to modernize and reform federal government spending before the oncoming federal debt crisis cripples the future of our families and the American economy. The Path to Prosperity Budget sets forth a blueprint to reduce debt as a share of the economy and to ultimately pay off our Federal debt over time. The budget emphasizes the need to provide for our future by restoring America’s promise, prosperity, and security.

Looking Forward
We are closely watching Hurricane Isaac and remain ready to provide resources to help affected areas if this storm impacts the Gulf Coast. Next week we will have an abbreviated e-newsletter in light of the Labor Day holiday.

As always, I encourage each of you to continue praying for our country during these challenging times, our first responders, and for our brave military men and women who selflessly serve to protect us today.

With great respect,

Bill Flores
Member of Congress

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