Throughout my tenure in the United States House of Representatives, I have continually advocated for a limited government, fiscally responsible policies, pro-growth solutions and common sense tax relief that contributes to American economic expansion. This begins with a national budget that limits government intrusion into the free market, provides necessary national security and eliminates wasteful government spending.
A product of the private sector, I understand the need to fight unnecessary bureaucracy and to utilize market-driven solutions to effectively solve problems in our communities and in government. I know that America can and will again become prosperous beyond imagination and millions of new private-sector jobs will be created if we would just get back to our founding, free-market principles and end big government and wasteful spending. It is clear that we cannot continue on the misguided and irresponsible path endorsed by the other side of the aisle of higher taxes, reckless spending, bigger government, explosive debt and deficits and unacceptably high unemployment.
Just as American families and American businesses have to budget their money, so does the federal government. As Chairman of the House Rules Committee, a former member of the House Budget Committee, and a member of the fiscally-conservative Republican Study Committee, I am very involved in the federal budget process, fighting for the efficient and responsible allocation of our nation’s financial resources. Though the “power of the purse” is a legislative power granted by Article I of our Constitution, the federal budget process can only begin each year when the president submits to Congress his annual budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Unfortunately, President Obama has been late in submitting his annual budget plan for the past four years. Additionally, the budget proposals he has submitted have not been fiscally-responsible by any means. Also, for three years in a row, the Senate opted to not pass a budget resolution. This is a severe dereliction of duty when it comes to federal budgeting, especially during challenging economic times.
While these processes express the priorities of Congress and influence federal policies, the most fundamental duty of Congress is to efficiently appropriate federal funds to ensure maximum value out of every tax dollar. This is a responsibility that I take very seriously. Throughout my years in Congress, I have worked with my colleagues to fund necessary endeavors, provide support to our troops, and when possible, terminate unnecessary federal programs. I believe that Congress should focus on allowing American families and businesses to keep more of their hard-earned money, promoting pro-growth, fiscally-responsible policies for job creation and reducing the crippling debt and deficits our nation faces.
In the previous 112th Congress, I cosponsored or voted in favor of numerous pieces of legislation designed to reduce government spending and lead to the passage of a balanced budget amendment. I will continue to support similar legislation and policies in the current 113th Congress. The legislation I supported in the previous Congress included:
H.J.Res. 2 - On January 5, 2011, Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.J. Res.2, which proposed a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution of the United States. I cosponsored this legislation along with 241 other members of the House of Representatives. On November 18, 2011, the House of Representatives failed to reach the 284-2/3-majority-required vote to pass this legislation, with 261 votes in favor and 165 opposed.
Cut, Cap and Balance Act – Along with 115 of my colleagues, I cosponsored and supported the Cut, Cap and Balance Act of 2011 (H.R. 2560). Introduced by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), H.R. 2560 would have cut discretionary spending by $111 billion, reduced mandatory spending by $51 billion and capped federal spending by roughly 20 percent of GDP. It also proposed a balanced budget amendment as a condition for increasing the debt ceiling. On July 19, 2011, H.R. 2560 passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 234-190. However, on July 22, 2011, the Senate failed to pass this bill.
Budget Control Act of 2011 – On July 29, 2011, the House of Representatives passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 by a vote of 218-210, sending the Senate a second solution to the debt crisis. Under this plan the debt limit would have been instantly raised by $400 billion, with a possible addition of $500 billion subject to Congressional approval. This proposal would have responsibly reduced spending by $17 billion more than it raised the debt limit, capped future spending with discretionary spending limits from fiscal year 2012 to 2021 and required that both the House of Representatives and Senate pass and send a balanced budget amendment to the states before the President could request the second increase to the debt limit. I voted in support of this legislation because it would have provided a clear path to paying down our debt and returning our nation to fiscal solvency while working to prevent future fiscal calamity caused by irresponsible spending.
Final Budget Control Act – On August 1 and 2, 2011, the House and the Senate, respectively, passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and on August 2, 2011, it was signed into law by President Obama. This final version cut government spending by more than it increased the debt limit, implemented statutory caps that restrain future spending, did not raise taxes, and advanced the cause of a balanced budget amendment. The debt limit was raised by $900 billion and spending was reduced by $917 billion. The bill also commissioned a joint committee with the expressed goal of enacting $1.5 trillion in cuts over ten years. As you may know, this joint committee did not succeed in producing any deficit reduction, therefore a process called sequestration was triggered. Overall, all of the total savings produced from the Budget Control Act’s deficit reduction and spending cut measures equals more than $2 trillion over ten years.
House Republican FY 2014 Budget, "The Path to Prosperity" - On March 21, 2013 the House of Representatives passed our budget plan for fiscal year (FY) 2013, "The Path to Prosperity," by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. Our bold fiscal roadmap will fund our nation's priorities while encouraging economic growth and opportunity. Our responsible budget plan will reform our broken tax code, cut government spending and tackle the drivers of our debt to put our country on a sustainable path towards fiscal solvency.
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