SUMMIT, NJ - Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7) addressed the Suburban Chamber of Commerce this morning at the Grand Summit Hotel in Summit, New Jersey, and called for the extension of tax cuts set to expire at the end of December and the implementation of other measures to reduce uncertainty in the economy.
Speaking to an overflow crowd in the hotel ballroom, Lance said that there is a great deal of uncertainty in the economy, caused in part by uncertainty as to whether the tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of December will in fact expire, are renewed temporarily or our renewed permanently. "I favor renewing the tax cuts in their entirety for all in America," Lance said, explaining that he believes the cuts should be extended for at least two years. He noted that the vote on the extension of the tax cuts will likely take place after the November elections.
Lance also said that there is uncertainty in the economy because of the health care bill since it will not be fully implemented until 2014 and people are unsure as to how the health care bill will affect them. He added that there is further uncertainty in the economy because of the creation of a new consumer protection agency since the mandate for the agency is as yet unknown. Finally, the Congressman said there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the level of lending by banks. "I support amending mark to market so banks can lend more vigorously," Lance said.
Saying that "the American people are impatient" regarding the economy, Lance said he has great concern regarding federal spending and the debt. He noted that the annual deficit is approximately $1.4 trillion. "These debts are very significant for the future of this country," he added. He said that the debt is currently 26% of our country's GDP (Gross Domestic Product). "This is not sustainable in America if America is to maintain its position of preeminence in the 21st Century," the Congressman added.
"I am under no illusion that we can balance the budget this year or next or the year after that," he said. However, Lance feels there should be a constitutional prohibition on certain levels of federal debt. In New Jersey when Lance was a member of the State Legislature, he authored a constitutional amendment to the state constitution requiring voter approval for certain state borrowing. He said a constitutional measure on the federal level would be helpful in curtailing the federal debt and federal spending. However, he added, "The best way to bring down deficits is by having a thriving economy."
Regarding the upcoming November election, Lance said "my side of the aisle is likely to make significant gains." He said that currently, Congress is not in session "so you are safe…" but that Congress will be back in session next week. When asked by a member of the audience regarding his pick for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, Lance said he strongly supports Mitt Romney.
Lance concluded by saying that, "the problems and challenges we face now have been made by the human condition, men and women, but I am confident that we can solve them by working together in a common sense, bi-partisan way."
Bob Davies, President of the Suburban Chamber of Commerce, told The Alternative Press, "We're very pleased to have Congressman Lance here to give us an update on some issues before us on a national level. What happens on the national level affects us here on the local level."
"The Chamber is thrilled that Congressman Lance, who does a great job of paying attention to his constituents, is with us today," added Mort O'Shea of Hilltop Community Bank, a member of the Chamber Board and sponsor of today's Chamber event.