House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin Floor debate on H. Res. 516
January 24, 2012
We welcome the President to the House chamber tonight, where he will address the American people to assess the State of the Union.
This presents another opportunity for the President to chart a new course. I hope the President takes this opportunity to stop offering empty rhetoric and broken promises, to stop pushing policies that have proven to make matters worse, and to stop dividing Americans for political gain.
I hope the President takes this opportunity to start working with us to get America back on track. Yet, the Administration has – time and again – turned hope into disappointment.
The President and his party’s leaders continue to duck from the most pressing fiscal and economic challenges facing our nation. Exhibit A of this failure is the fact that today marks 1,000 days without Senate Democrats passing a budget.
Having failed to put forward a credible budget plan in 1,000 days, the President’s party is committing America to a future of debt, doubt and decline.
Instead of dealing honestly with our biggest fiscal challenges and providing certainty to job creators, Senate Democrats have refused to meet their legal and moral obligation to propose and pass a budget.
The President and his party’s leaders refuse to account for their reckless spending spree. The lack of credible budget plans from the President and his party’s leaders raises the question: What are they hiding?
Is it the threats to the economic security, health security and national security that would result from their policy agenda?
The job destroying tax hikes they continue to insist upon?
The bureaucratic rationing and denial of vital care for seniors that would result from their health-care law?
The deep cuts to the military that would hollow out our national defense?
Their policy preferences call for ever-higher levels of government spending, higher taxes, a board of bureaucrats to cut Medicare, and a smaller military. It is understandable why they’d be afraid to try to fit that agenda on a spreadsheet, but that is no excuse for giving up on budgeting.
This failure to budget stands in stark contrast to our efforts here in the House. As the law requires, we proposed and passed a budget resolution last spring. We honestly confronted our nation’s most difficult challenges, putting the budget on a path to balance and the country back on a path to prosperity.
We will keep working together to advance principled solutions this year. And we call upon our friends in the Senate to get serious about their duty to those they serve. Propose a budget. Engage in the debate. Advance solutions.
I thank Congressman Nugent for his leadership on this resolution, which expresses the sense of the House that the passage of a budget is of national importance.
We must recommit ourselves to the American Idea. We must apply our nation’s timeless principles to the challenges of the day. We will continue to advance bipartisan solutions and the principled reforms necessary to help get our nation back on track.