Flores Vows to Fight Further Debt Increases

Breakdown of President Obama's 2011 Proposed Budget
Click Here (NY Times)

Fresh off his first town hall meetings as District 17's congressman, Bill Flores is back at work in the nation's capital as budget talks continue.

The Republican representative for much of the region joined Brazos Valley This Morning from Washington Wednesday for his regular monthly visit to the show.

During his three days of four town hall meetings -- including one in Bryan last Friday -- Flores laid out the proposed budget to the crowds, including one portion where it was broken down in a pie chart. The only piece of the pie he said could or should truly be affected was the discretionary, non-military spending, which amounts to about $700 billion.

Hundreds of billions of dollars for things like Medicare and Social Security are mandatory expenditures, and Flores said he wasn't willing to take from national defense.

"When you put the pictures up there with the way we spend money in the federal government and about how bad our deficit outlook is, people walk away with a new view," he said.

Slides from the presentation can be viewed by clicking on the links at the top of the page.

The congressman explained that with the continuing resolution recently passed to keep the government going, one out of every five dollars was cut for a savings of $100 billion out of President Obama's budget.

"That doesn't move the needle much, but it at least gets us started," Flores said. "In order to really affect our deficit picture and our long-term debt picture, we've got to attack entitlement."

The president's budget as presented to the House Budget Committee would grow the current $14 trillion debt by another $13 trillion in the next ten years, according to Flores, something he says he's aiming to avoid.

"I don't know that we'll ever get rid of the $14 trillion of debt that we have, but if we can grow our economy really large and if we can quit growing that debt, then over time, that debt will be small as a percentage of [gross domestic product]," Flores said.

More than 800 people attended four town hall meetings in the district, according to the congressman. About 700 of those in attendance filled out and returned ballots Flores' staff passed out. The questionnaire touched on a few of the hot topics facing the nation, including the budget.

Flores says his office will have those results tallied soon.

The congressman also addressed efforts in the House to change up the healthcare reform bill passed by the previous Congress. To hear his thoughts on that and the entire interview from BVTM, click on the video with this story.

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