Congressman Phil Roe, M.D. represents Tennessee’s First District.
As we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday with our family and friends, let’s remember its important history and all that the holiday stands for. While there were many celebrations before, in 1789, George Washington signed an official proclamation entitled “General Thanksgiving” which called for a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.”
Since then, our nation has observed this day as a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude for the blessings in your life. It’s about spending time with your family and loved ones. It’s about giving back and giving thanks.
We must also repurpose ourselves to do all we can to restore our economy and put us on a path to economic growth. This includes creating jobs and putting us on a path toward a balanced budget. I am disappointed the House was not able to pass a balanced budget amendment because our national debt has reached an all time high of $15 trillion—more than $48,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country. It is time to get serious about enacting spending cuts, and I can promise you this defeat is just the start of a long journey to end wasteful Washington spending.
Established through the Budget Control Act, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction had a responsibility to reduce government spending by at least $1.2 trillion. However, since the so-called “super committee” was unable to find common ground on reforms, there are new warnings and consequences if automatic cuts take place. We need to carefully examine all of the cuts that will go into effect absent Congressional action, including major cuts to our national defense. We will not do anything that threatens our national security. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both side of the aisle to come up with sensible reforms that work to bring our economy back to economic health.
This Thanksgiving I will be saying a special prayer for the brave men and women who are serving our nation overseas in the armed forces. They cannot be with their families and friends here in America, but they can be in our thoughts and prayers. Our troops deserve our highest support as they literally put their lives on the line for our freedom.
As we enter the holiday season, let’s all try to reach out to be supportive of our military and their families.