By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
R-VA 6th District
This week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that, in fact, the House Democrats will not produce a federal budget resolution for fiscal year 2011. This marks the first time since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974 that the House of Representatives has failed to pass an initial budget, setting the spending priorities for the following fiscal year. What does this mean for American taxpayers? Since it is the budget at the beginning of the year that sets the limits for federal spending, Americans can expect to see even more out-of-control spending coming from Washington.
As Congress continues to spend at a near-record pace, the federal government has amassed $935 billion in deficit spending (amount that government spending exceeds the revenues coming in) in the first months of the current fiscal year with the annual deficit approaching last year’s record $1.4 trillion. These figures are staggering but with no budget resolution to force Congress to make the tough but necessary choices the spending spree will continue.
In stark contrast to the Democrats’ out-of-control government spending, I am pleased to support a fiscally responsible budget resolution which reflects Washington’s need to make tough decisions about spending priorities, cut wasteful programs, and respect taxpayers’ wallets. This alternative budget resolution, which was offered by members of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), balances the federal budget and achieves a surplus by 2019. The RSC budget proposes $6.4 trillion less debt than President Obama’s budget.
This alternative budget targets wasteful spending by requiring each committee to find savings equal to one percent of total mandatory spending under its jurisdiction. Additionally, the RSC budget resolution repeals the failed Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) which was the program designed to bailout financial institutions. By repealing the program it would save American taxpayers $36 billion. The RSC budget repeals the expensive government takeover of our health care system which recently became law and replaces it with important measures to reduce health care costs like medical liability reform and the freedom to purchase healthcare across state lines. It includes additional measures aimed at cutting unnecessary spending such as ending the taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns, reforming food stamp spending and selling a small percentage of federal assets.
As elected officials and stewards of the taxpayer’s money, we have a responsibility to put together a sustainable budget and stick to it without increasing the tax burden. I have consistently supported measures to rein in the federal budget and curb spending by voting for the tightest budgets and spending bills possible. Again this year I am a strong supporter of the RSC budget resolution which will set us on the path to balancing our federal budget and restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.