For too long in Washington, the budget process has been broken. With over $17 trillion in debt, there is no arguing this point.
I hear it time and time again from constituents all of whom are frustrated with Washington’s lack of discipline when it comes to producing a budget. They tell me we can’t continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend.
The House has always done its work but Harry Reid’s stewardship in the Senate has always been where the shortfall lies. That’s why it was so important last year when the Senate agreed to a “no budget no pay” provision forced each chamber to the table to negotiate a budget or personally face the consequences for not doing their job.
To my constituents, this kind of logic is common sense. And even though this might be widely considered a positive step forward here in Washington, to my constituents, this doesn’t pass the smell test because it is so evident there is much more work to do. The budget the House will vote on this week is a clear path forward to growing our economy and creating jobs. The way we do this is by bringing our nation’s finances to balance in ten years.
We can no longer kick the can down the road by putting off the tough decisions to future generations. Our children and our grand children deserve better. The rampant out of control spending requires that we look at making tough decisions and in order to get that done everyone – including President Obama – must have some skin in the game.
Everyday, families sit around their kitchen tables and make tough decisions about whether they should save for retirement, save for a child’s education, or start a business. In the Obama economy, many middle class families are feeling the squeeze living paycheck to paycheck, struggling with increased prices at the pump and rising health care premiums. Building a nest egg is difficult for many in today’s economy.
And unlike the federal government, many struggling families don’t have the option to borrow for the future because unlike Congress, they have to pay their bills. There is no raising the debt ceiling for an average middle class family.
Since I came to Congress, I’ve made it my priority to introduce a balanced budget amendment each Congress simply because I don’t believe Washington has the fiscal discipline to keep our nation’s finances in order. The only real way we can do that is by amending our constitution to require Congress balances the federal budget.
Under the plan the House will vote on this week, the budget will make our troops a priority by making sure they have the appropriate levels of training, compensation and support they need to keep our country safe.
Keeping our promise to our seniors is also something this budget does by protecting Social Security for current retirees and strengthening it for future generations. There is great concern, as well there should be, from the younger professionals that I hear from that they’re paying into a system that might not be there in the future. We must protect the solvency of social security and allow
The House Republican budget also suggests much-needed reforms to our tax code to incentivize American competitiveness and create jobs, which is the appropriate focus of tax reform. With three out of four Americans living paycheck to paycheck, and a cost of living rising, we should be encouraging more personal economic freedom by giving people a chance to get ahead. I’ve always believed our economy grows when people are allowed to keep more of their hard-earned money.
With rising gas prices and insurance premiums, our constituents deserve this relief. The House Republican budget provides this relief by completely repealing Obamacare and saving working families from the anxiety of the President’s broken promises.
My friends on the other side of the aisle propose their budget that includes $1.5 trillion tax hikes to pay for bloated government. And that’s the fundamental difference I have with my Democrat colleagues.
Workers shouldn’t be punished by Washington in the form of higher taxes. That’s no way to grow our economy and it’s certainly no way to govern our country.
Republican Lee Terry represents Nebraska's Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.