Kevin Brady comments on U.S. budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. — When Americans ousted Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats in 2010, the federal government was borrowing a shocking 40 cents for every dollar it spends. Today, after House Republicans waged a series of high-profile budget fights with President Obama, the government is now borrowing 14 cents on every dollar and the day-to-day budget has been shrunk back to 2008 levels.
Better, but not good enough.
While you and I balance our checkbooks every month, the Obama White House has proposed a budget that never balances – ever. It raises over $2 trillion in new taxes, triples the interest on the debt and siphons taxpayer dollars away from national security and border security. That’s more than irresponsible, it’s nuts.
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This month House Republicans are working to pass a balanced budget guided by our conservative principles. We are trying to convince the Senate to do the same.
The House has always succeeded in debating, amending, and approving many of the 12 smaller spending bills that together fund the annual budget. The Senate routinely has failed to approve any. So Congress usually ends up with a massive year-end spending bill that few like. It is really up to the Senate to find a way to do its job to avoid this mess again this year.
To jump start the annual budget process, this week the House Ways and Means Committee that I lead will pass three bills which cut wasteful Washington spending by nearly $100 billion.
They are pretty common sense. One requires a valid social security number to claim the child tax credit. This will stop fraudsters and illegal immigrants from claiming the credit and defrauding American taxpayers. Another bill recovers improper ObamaCare overpayments; and the third ends a duplicative program that produces few results called the social services block grant.
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Having a budget is important. Faced with a president who routinely ignores the checks and balances of the Constitution, the best way the legislative branch can exercise its power is through the 12 spending bills that fund the government. That can’t happen without first approving a budget for the year.
A budget that reflects our conservative priorities also includes a process that allows Congress to send a key priority to the president’s desk that requires only a 51 vote majority in the Senate. We used it this year to defund Planned Parenthood and dismantle key parts of ObamaCare. Yes President Obama vetoed it, but now we have a proven path to send a major repeal bill to the desk of a future Republican president. But no budget, no bill.
Without a budget, Congress is stuck with another year-end massive spending bill and no way to challenge the White House executive orders or delay harmful global warming regulations.
Without a strong budget that includes a path to a debt-free America, our nation will continue to fall behind our global competitors and the paychecks of hard-working Americans will continue to shrink. That is unacceptable to me and my constituents who demand a balanced budget for a prosperous America.