Republicans are now unified around one goal: reducing federal spending. Obama has increased the national debt by over $5 trillion during his four years in office. Left unchecked, he will only repeat this performance in his second term. We can't allow the president's increase in the national debt limit to come without first securing meaningful spending reductions and program reforms that permanently improve the direction of our national budget.
One of my key priorities during this debate will be to secure at least $1 in additional spending cuts for every $1 increase in the debt limit allowed. Last Congress I introduced a bill to replace the defense cuts with further reductions in nondefense spending and with reforms to mandatory entitlement programs. It also redirected additional savings to increase spending on national defense to 4 percent of GDP, which is an appropriate target to maintain our national security advantage.
In the coming months these are the reforms my conservative colleagues and I will be fighting for. And now that the tax cuts have been made permanent, we will be fighting for spending cuts from a position of strength.
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator (www.inhofe.senate.gov).