Watch the July 19, 2017 markup below:
Meeting the government’s fiscal challenges will be a daunting task, requiring conviction and determination. Governing is difficult. Again, members of Congress are not elected to do what is easy, but to do what is right. This budget resolution starts the process. It retains long-held beliefs about budgeting and governance. It reverses the drift toward overspending and bigger government; it reinforces the spirit of innovation and creativity in the myriad of institutions and communities across the country; and it revitalizes the prosperity that creates ever-increasing opportunities for all Americans to pursue their destiny. Like any good budget resolution, our fiscal year 2018 budget expresses a vision for governance and for America itself.
Our blueprint addresses the following major budget themes:
Balance the budget
The resolution charts the course for a balanced budget within 10 years, without raising taxes, and puts the government on a sustainable long-term fiscal path. The national debt is already an obstacle to greater prosperity and a threat to the security of future generations. This committee’s budget significantly reduces spending and reforms government programs to put us on a sustainable spending path.
Promote economic growth
For the past eight years, the government has been an obstacle to economic growth. This budget urges that trend be reversed through a combination of pro-growth policies, including deficit reduction, spending restraint, comprehensive tax reform, welfare reform, repeal legislation and replacement for Obamacare and regulatory reform. All can support more robust longer-term growth.
Ensuring a strong national defense
Defending America’s security is the federal government’s highest priority. To that end, this budget supports strong funding for troop training, equipment, compensation and improved readiness.
Improving the sustainability of health insurance
Despite Medicare’s popularity, there are far better ways to achieve the program’s laudable goals. Retirees should be able to choose the coverage plan best suited to their particular needs, rather than accepting a package of benefits dictated by Washington. The program should ensure that doctors and patients make health care decisions for themselves and promote competition among insurers to expand coverage choices and contain costs. Reforms like these will have the added benefit of improving Medicare’s long-term financial position, ensuring it will be there for future generations.
Restore the proper role of state and local governments
The resolution encourages innovation and creativity in state and local governments. It calls for giving significant authority back to States, which have not only the ability but also the will to reform and modernize programs to serve their citizens. The laboratories of democracy, not the federal government, are where these reforms should take place.
Reforming government programs while improving accountability
Every tax dollar collected by the federal government has been generated by private sector economic activity. Responsible management of taxpayers’ money is a fundamental part of the budget resolution. At every possible opportunity, the budget reforms government programs and improves accountability while delivering better results for Americans.