Rick Santorum on Deficits and Debt

Last Updated : Jan 04, 2012

Summary

Senator Santorum is a supports a balanced budget amendment. He stated that a balanced budget is neither extreme nor draconian and would return the US to it's nominal spending level of 18%. 

During the debt ceiling negotiations of 2011, Senator Santorum opposed the plan put forth to allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his own. He supported the cut, cap, and balance plan put forth by Republicans. He was critical of Republican representatives who stated that the ceiling should not be raised and called that unrealistic and not leading on the issue. He supported the final deal on the debt ceiling, but was stated that it did not go far enough to reign in the budget and did not guarantee a balanced budget amendment.

While in office, Senator Santorum voted on raising the debt ceiling 6 times. Five of those times, he voted in favor of raising the debt ceiling and once he voted against it.

As part of his 2012 spending and economic plan, Senator Santorum proposed a balanced budget with a spending cap, a reduction in non-defense spending, and a spending level freeze.

  • Commit to cut $5 trillion of federal spending within 5 years.
  • Implement Strong America Now reform through Lean Six Sigma management process as a key engine for cutting government waste and improving efficiency.
  • Immediately reduce federal (non-defense discretionary spending) to 2008 levels through across the board spending cuts.
  • Freeze defense spending levels for 5 years and reject automatic cuts.
  • Freeze spending levels for social programs for 5 years such as Medicaid, Housing, Education, Job Training, and Food Stamps, time limit restrictions, and block grant to the States like in Welfare Reform.
  • Pass a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution capping government spending at 18% of GDP so that Congress and the President will need to balance the budget like Governors are required to do.

 

Politico Article

In June of 2011, Senator Santorum wrote an article for Politico discussing his support for a balanced budget amendment.

 

Support for Cut, Cap, and Balance

In July of 2011, Senator Santorum released a statement noting his support for the passage of cut, cap, and balance through the House.

 

Debt Ceiling Agreement

In July of 2011, Senator Santorum released a press statement urging Republican leaders to stand firm and resist efforts to raise taxes or raise the debt ceiling limit without guaranteeing a balanced budget in the future. In August, the Senator released another statement noting his disappointment that the plan did not go further in ensuring debt reduction.

 

Fox News Appearance

In August of 2011, Senator Santorum appeared on Fox News and discussed the debt ceiling. He opposes proposals from Senator McConnel to allow President Obama to raise the debt ceiling on his own, he supports cut, cap, and balance, and he supports a balanced budget amendment.

 

Iowa Debate

In August of 2011, Senator Santiorum participated in the Republican Presidential debate in Ames, Iowa. He spoke about recent actions taken by Republicans in office to prevent the increase of the debt ceiling to force spending cuts. Senator Santorum stated that it was showmanship and not leadership to state that you would vote against the debt ceiling increase.

 

CNN National Security Debate

On November 22, 2011 Senator Santorum participated in the CNN national security debate. He notes his views on compromising on issues and specifically on taxes and spending.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Statements

 

Voting Record

Debt Ceiling Increase to $8.965 trillion

In March of 2006, the Senate passed H J Res 47 to increase the debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion. The measure passed 52-48. Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $8.965 trillion.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $8.184 trillion

In November of 2004, the Senate passed legislation to increase the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion. The legislation passed 52-44. Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $8.184 trillion.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $7.384 trillion

In May of 2003, the Senate passed a budget that contained an increase in the debt ceiling to $7.384 trillion. This measure passed the House 53-44. Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $7.384 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $7.384 trillion.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $6.4 trillion

In June of 2002, the Senate voted to pass legislation to enact an increase to the debt ceiling to $6.4 trillion. The measure passed 68-29. Rick Santorum voted in favor of the debt ceiling increase to $6.4 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of the debt ceiling increase to $6.4 trillion.

Balanced Budget Act - Debt Ceiling Increase to $5.95 trillion

In June of 1997, the Senate passed the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. This legislation included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion and a line item veto for the President which was later ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The measure passed the Senate 85-15. Rick Santorum voted in favor of this legislation, which included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted in favor of this legislation, which included an increase in the debt ceiling to $5.95 trillion.

Debt Ceiling Increase to $4.37 trillion

On April 1, 1993 the House voted in favor of increasing the debt ceiling to $4.37 trillion 237-177. The legislation was not voted on in the Senate, but passed through unanimously. Rick Santorum voted against increasing the debt ceiling to $4.37 trillion.

Rick Santorum voted against increasing the debt ceiling to $4.37 trillion.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-104; Bill Number-S J Res 1; Constitutional Amendment - Balanced Budget - Cosponsor

Requires a balanced Federal budget, unless a three-fifths roll call vote of both Houses of Congress provides for a specific excess of outlays over receipts. Prohibits an increase in the public debt limit except by a three-fifths roll call vote by both Houses of Congress. Requires the President to submit a balanced budget to the Congress. Prohibits any bill increasing revenue from becoming law unless approved by a majority roll call vote of both Houses.

Session-105; Bill Number-S J Res 1; Constitutional Amendment - Balanced Budget - Cosponsor

Prohibits outlays for a fiscal year (except those for repayment of debt principal) from exceeding total receipts (except those derived from borrowing) for that fiscal year unless the Congress, by a three-fifths roll call vote of each House, authorizes a specific excess of outlays over receipts. Requires a three-fifths roll call vote of each House to increase the public debt. Directs the President to submit a balanced budget to the Congress. Requires the approval of a majority of each House by roll call vote before any bill to increase revenue may become law. Authorizes the Congress to waive these provisions when: (1) a declaration of war is in effect; or (2) the United States is engaged in a military conflict which poses a threat to national security as declared by a joint resolution adopted by a majority of each House. Makes this article effective beginning with FY 2002 or with the second fiscal year beginning after its ratification, whichever is later.

Session-105; Bill Number-S 261; Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (CBA) to revise the Federal and congressional budget processes by establishing a two-year budgeting and appropriations cycle and timetable. Defines the budget biennium as the two consecutive fiscal years beginning on October 1 of any odd-numbered year. Sets forth a special timetable for any first session that begins in any year immediately following a leap year and during which the term of a President begins (except one who starts a second successive term).

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