I have consistently supported legislation and policies to get the nation’s long-term fiscal house in order by balancing the budget and reforming entitlements, so we can eventually pay down our debt.
Budget and Spending
Since 2008, our national debt has increased by more than $9 trillion. Under Democratic control, the United States ran $1 trillion dollar deficits for four consecutive years. After Republicans won back control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the nation’s deficits have shrunk dramatically, to $534 billion in fiscal year 2016. While the deficit is still far too high, the progress made is the direct result of conservative efforts to reign in out-of-control spending, even in divided government.
As a member of the House Budget Committee, I have consistently supported legislation to get our long-term fiscal house in order by balancing the budget and eventually pay down our debt. I support the aims of the Budget Control Act, which I hoped would lead to a solution to our long-term entitlement problems. Of the more than $3.7 trillion in spending done by the federal government, about one third is spent on discretionary programs (those that Congress and the president control on an annual basis). But unless we take on the complicated task of reforming the other two thirds of government designated as mandatory spending (mostly entitlement programs), America will eventually go bankrupt.
The country’s major entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security) are the most significant drivers of our debt. In fiscal year 2012, all entitlements comprised more than 60 percent of federal spending. According to the Boards of Trustees for Social Security and Medicare, both are due to become insolvent within the next 25 years if no changes are made. Every year that we delay addressing the issue, the solutions become more expensive and more painful, and continue to put our children and grandchildren even deeper in debt.
That’s why I have supported legislation that would put us back on a path toward fiscal balance by making changes to Medicare for those 54 and younger, while protecting those who have planned their retirements around the system in place. Under this kind of plan, those 54 and younger will have the option of keeping traditional Medicare or moving into a program modeled after Medicare Part D (one of the only government programs to ever come in under budget by 40 percent). If Congress acts now, making smaller changes to critical safety-net programs will prevent worse cuts to current beneficiaries.
More on Economy
Before Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives more than four and a half years ago, lawmakers already knew that Americans desired change. But unlike the “change” that President Obama promised throughout his campaign and then strong-armed through a closed-door, Democrat-led Congress, Americans wanted to see a government that reined in regulatory excess, controlled government spending and demanded greater transparency and accountability. The Republican members of the House understood that then, and we still understand and fight for that now.
Roll Call - Marc N. Casper, Chris Hansen and Mark S. Wrighton
If you had a treasure map, why wouldn’t you follow it?
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The Hill - Tim Devaney
Congressional Republicans are using the power of the purse to do battle against a series of controversial labor regulations from the Obama administration.
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The Hill - By Rebecca Shabad
The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday advanced a $153 billion bill funding the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Education and Labor for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1.
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Norman Transcript - Staff
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Politico - Brian Mahoney
An appropriations subcommittee shot down a bid by Rep. Rosa DeLauro to increase funding for programs in the Labor HHS bill to the levels requested by President Barack Obama in his 2016 budget.
The amendment would have funded by nearly $11 billion child care programs, Pell grants, job training and other defunded programs, DeLauro said. “And yet even with those increases, we are only halfway back to restoring the Labor HHS bill to its fiscal year 2010 funding level,” DeLauro said.
Each year when it comes time for filing income taxes, hardworking Americans are forced to navigate what has become a needlessly complicated process. Because of the headaches associated with gathering or finding the necessary filing documents, navigating the tricky instructions and wondering still if you covered all your bases, it’s no wonder that many rely on paid professionals to comply or end up requesting an extension.