WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce and a member of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, issued the following statement on congressional efforts to reduce the deficit and create jobs:
“I spent the last three months as one of 12 members who faced steep odds to find agreement, but who shared an understanding that our fiscal challenges cannot be ignored. I am bitterly disappointed that we were not able to find enough common ground to deliver the deficit reduction choices that Congress needs to make, but I am not deterred in my commitment to keep at it. Differences continue to divide us, but focusing solely on those differences serves no one. Instead of listening to the naysayers, I will continue listening to the people I serve: the folks in Michigan who have faced nearly three years of double-digit unemployment rates, but who persevere in seeking an economic comeback; the constituents who called, wrote, and spoke to me, sharing their hope for our success and their continued belief that leaders can come together for the country. They’re looking for solutions, and we’re going to keep working to deliver.
“America’s fiscal challenges did not appear overnight, and finding solutions will take time and require tough choices. No member of the Joint Select Committee planned for this process to conclude with automatic spending cuts rather than an agreement to cut more, but Congress included automatic cuts in the law to make certain that, at the end of the day, we achieved an initial deficit reduction goal. Members on both sides of the aisle and the President of the United States need to recognize that our work to get our economy back on track is far from over.
“Too many people in Michigan and across the country are looking for work because job creators lack the certainty and economic confidence to grow and create jobs. Congress needs to tighten government’s belt just as families have had to tighten theirs. We need to reform the tax code so the American people aren’t left feeling like the system is stacked against them, with special benefits and loopholes for those who can afford to find them and everyone facing a massive tax hike that will squeeze middle class family budgets and stifle economic recovery. As chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, my focus is on the rapidly rising cost of health care that is driving our long-term spending growth. We can and must address each of these challenges. We can and must keep the focus on job creation and economic recovery.”