Our nation’s debt and deficit issues must be addressed so we don’t leave future generations to foot our bills.  I am committed to finding common sense solutions that bridge party lines to help get our fiscal house in order in a balanced way.

I strongly believe, however, that we cannot balance our budget on the backs of working families and seniors.  We have to put the middle class first and end taxpayer giveaways to corporations that send our jobs overseas, big oil companies making record profits and Wall Street billionaires.

We can also take a step in the right direction by eliminating government waste, fraud and abuse and pushing for the greatest possible efficiency and effectiveness in government programs.   This is something we can all agree on.

To do my part, the first idea I put forth after taking office was the “Government Waste Reduction Act.” This common sense bill would reduce unnecessary duplications in government services and programs through consolidation without hurting the middle class . For example, there are currently 15 agencies involved in food safety. Streamlining responsibility would save taxpayer money as well as improve coordination and oversight. I also worked across the aisle with Illinois Senator Mark Kirk on the “Government Transformation Act,” which would accomplish this goal on a broader scale.

To put an end to the outrageous federal government practice of paying millions of dollars to dead people, I am leading an effort with Republican Congressman Chris Gibson of New York that would give agencies the tools they need to stop these payments.  Our bill - the “IPACE Act” - has the potential to save millions of dollars each year and would strengthen vital retirement programs like Social Security.

Common sense solutions like these are ones that we all can agree on and will get us on the road to fiscal responsibility without hurting working families, seniors and our other national priorities.