From the inbox:
U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement today after a Budget Committee hearing to discuss the economic and budget outlook with Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf.
“Today’s report from CBO indicates that the federal deficit is expected to improve in 2009 and our efforts to stabilize the American economy are working. While this is good news, we have serious work to do to reduce our national debt and ensure economic opportunities for American families.
“When President Bush took office, he inherited a surplus of $236 billion, the largest surplus since 1948. After eight years of deficit spending and fiscal irresponsibility, he squandered that surplus and left President Obama with a record deficit of $1.3 trillion and the worst recession in 80 years.
“While we still have far to go, our economy has seen progress due to recovery measures enacted by President Obama and Democrats in Congress. We experienced a very deep and broad recession and while we are seeing stabilization, these are still challenging times for American families and American businesses.
“The long-term projections included in the report and the difficulties our economy still faces, means that we must begin to address our nation’s budgetary challenges now if we want to create lasting economic revitalization.
“I applaud the President for his commitment to make deficit reduction a priority this year and I urge my colleagues to pass budgetary rules such as statutory pay-as-you-go legislation that helped transform budget deficits into surpluses in the 1990’s. I also support the creation of a debt commission that places America on a path toward a balanced budget, deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility.
“The road to success has been difficult, but as the economy improves, now is the time to put deficit reduction plans into motion, ensuring that the recovery is lasting and built on a sound foundation.”