Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson told members of a House committee Wednesday that lowering the national debt is a top concern for him and for most Americans.
Simpson spoke during a House Appropriations Committee markup session on Tuesday, when the panel looked at changing spending plans for agencies. Simpson spoke in favor of a proposal from fellow Republican Jerry Lewis of California that would have trimmed federal spending by $31 billion in the next year. The proposal was rejected on a party line vote by majority Democrats.
Simpson said during the meeting that people are worried about government spending, including the $34 billion approved this week for extending federal unemployment benefits.
Simpson, along with the other members of Congress from Idaho, voted against extending unemployment benefits. A Gallup poll from June showed that 84 percent of American considered federal debt a threat to the United States, slightly higher than unemployment at 83 percent. That difference was within the 5 percent margin of error.
Before Lewis’ plan failed, Simpson said that federal spending can be reduced without affecting the national economy.
Simpson finished his remarks by asking both Republicans and Democrats to look for areas where spending could be trimmed to prevent adding onto the country’s debt.