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In contrast to what the White House and Democrats in Congress are saying, I know – and I hear this from constituents every day – that government spending is the problem. Our deficits and debt are crowding out private investment and acting like a wet blanket on our economy.
That’s why, on March 21, 2013, I led the House in passing Paul Ryan’s plan to balance the budget in 10 years. Our budget takes an important step toward stopping our government from spending money it doesn’t have, but it does a lot more than just balance. It helps grow our economy and addresses things that are important to American families.
At a time when all too many Americans are familiar with the burdens of our broken tax code, our budget lays out a path for reform so we can close special-interest loopholes and create a fairer, simpler tax code that will help produce more jobs and higher wages for the American people. It also calls for the approval of the Keystone pipeline and American-made energy, which in turn means more jobs and lower energy bills.
Repealing ObamaCare is a part of our budget too, and it would pave the way for patient-centered reforms, more jobs and lower health care costs for the American people. It also protects and strengthens Medicare, meaning a more secure retirement for seniors.
Finally, our budget for FY 2014 cuts waste and helps achieve more fairness and accountability for hard-working taxpayers. Our goal has always been to cut spending and let the economy grow – not shut down the government – and to that end, on the very same day, the House also passed a responsible measure to keep the government open and running for the remainder of the 2013 fiscal year.
This continuing resolution locks in spending at sequester levels, while offering important flexibility to the Department of Defense. According to the Dayton Daily News, the Pentagon has delayed furlough notices for civilian employees so it can review this legislation, and I’m hopeful that it will enable DOD to find other savings and avert harmful cuts to critical missions conducted at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and elsewhere.
Still, if we want to offer greater certainty, there’s no question we need to replace the president’s sequester with smarter cuts and enact a balanced budget into law. The House has now passed bills to do both. So far the president has yet to propose a plan to accomplish either – and even said recently he doesn’t see a need to balance the budget.
But remember, we’ve done it before. Back in the 1990’s, Republicans in Congress and President Clinton made it a bipartisan priority. We came together on areas of common ground to pass a plan – and for four years, actually ran a budget surplus.
President Obama has an opportunity to come forward and to help make a balanced budget part of his legacy, like it has become part of the Clinton legacy. I hope he can be convinced to step up and do the right thing for our economy, and our future.