In Case You Missed It

ICYMI: Notable Statements for
The Path to Prosperity

The House Budget Committee unveiled its new budget, The Path to Prosperity, on Tuesday, April 5, launching a long overdue debate on the fiscal future of the country. Many voices joined in at once to welcome the beginning of this national conversation, as well as to praise the specifics of the proposal put forward by the Committee. From state capitals to newspaper editorials and leaders from both sides of the aisle, here’s what people were saying about The Path to Prosperity this week:

1)      The Co-Chairmen of the President Obama’s Bipartisan Fiscal Commission

2)      Columnists/Editorial Boards/News Reports

3)      Governors

4)      Groups/Coalitions

5)      Members of Congress

The Co-Chairmen of the President Obama’s Bipartisan Fiscal Commission

Paul Ryan’s Budget is a Positive Step

“The budget released this morning by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is a serious, honest, straightforward approach to addressing our nation’s enormous fiscal challenges. We applaud him for his work in putting forward a proposal which will reduce the country’s deficit by approximately the same amount as the plan of the President’s Fiscal Commission.”

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles

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Columnists/Editorial Boards/News Reports

Ryan Steals March on Obama as Fiscal Crisis Looms

“Ryan’s budget is a brave attempt to reverse the Obama Democrats' vast increase in the size and scope of government. The premise of their policies was that people can't make rational choices to take care of themselves and are better off depending on experts to limit those choices.

“Ryan’s budget is based on the idea that people are capable of making decisions for themselves. And that the cumulative result of all those decisions, made by millions of people, will result in greater productivity, creativity and protection than can ever be achieved by a few experts through centralized command and control.

“But it’s also likely to shape the economic platform for the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. None of the current potential candidates has come up with anything so comprehensive. Some have already stepped up and praised Ryan's plan.

“But the political risk may be greater for the other side. ‘To be in a secure place for re-election, writes Mark Penn, a key strategist for Bill Clinton in 1996, ‘President Obama has some tasks ahead of him that will give him the edge when [the Republican] field is narrowed.’”

– Mike Barone, American Enterprise Institute

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“Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands”

“The country lacked that leadership until today. Today, Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is scheduled to release the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Ryan is expected to leap into the vacuum left by the president’s passivity. The Ryan budget will not be enacted this year, but it will immediately reframe the domestic policy debate.

“His proposal will set the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion. It will become the 2012 Republican platform, no matter who is the nominee. Any candidate hoping to win that nomination will have to be able to talk about government programs with this degree of specificity, so it will improve the G.O.P. primary race.

“It also creates the pivotal moment of truth for President Obama. Will he come up with his own counterproposal, or will he simply demagogue the issue by railing against ‘savage’ Republican cuts and ignoring the long-term fiscal realities? Does he have a sustainable vision for government, or will he just try to rise above the fray while Nancy Pelosi and others attack Ryan?”

 – David Brooks, New York Times

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Paul Ryan and the Triumph of Policy

“This is how we should want all our legislators to approach the people’s business, whether they’re liberal or conservative or somewhere in between – putting what they consider good policy above what everyone else in their party considers good politics. Too few of them do. But for the ones who try to make real substance their touchstone, rather than just partisan advantage, today should be a hopeful day.”

– Ross Douthat, New York Times

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A Ronald Reagan Budget

“Paul Ryan’s budget is inevitably about what Washington does (or refuses to do). But its underlying rationale is to reorder the relationship between Washington and the American people—country first, Washington behind. That notion is what November’s startling tea party and independent vote for the GOP was about, and what the party's Senate and House freshmen appear to understand. Properly understood, this is the first presidential budget message of the new Republican Party.”

– Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal

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Paul Ryan’s Revolution would finish Reagan’s

“The alternative to the Ryan Path isn’t the fiscally unsustainable status quo, but a future of harsh austerity beset by financial crisis, stifled by higher interest rates and marred by a lower standard of living. In short, the death of the American Dream and  the collapse of any social safety net.

“But there is a way forward to another American Century and away from that nightmare. And Ryan has found it.”

– James Pethokoukis, Reuters 

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The Ryan Resolution

“Mr. Ryan’s budget rollout is an important political and policy moment because it is the most serious attempt to reform government in at least a generation. The plan offers what voters have been saying they want – a blueprint to address the roots of Washington's fiscal disorder. It does so not by the usual posturing (“paygo”) and symbolism (balanced budget amendment) but by going to the heart of the spending problem, especially on the vast and rapidly growing health-care entitlements of Medicaid and Medicare. The Wisconsin Republican’s plan is a generational choice, not the usual Beltway echo.”

Wall Street Journal editorial board

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What Real Leaders Do

“It was a shame to hear influential lawmakers such as Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attack Ryan practically before he had finished talking. As Ryan acknowledged Tuesday, his “Path to Prosperity” hands a potent weapon to his political opponents, who may indeed follow the usual playbook by fanning the fears of seniors, and demonizing the GOP as the enemy of America’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Ryan is warning us about perils that stretch from economics to psychology: The sense of victimization among citizens who object to reforming unaffordable entitlements — and the unwillingness of President Obama and other leaders to challenge that self-indulgence — represents a much greater threat to Americans than anything in Ryan's proposal.”

Chicago Tribune editorial board 

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Ryan’s Budget Plan Gets The Job Done

“This is a great plan. And it's one that Americans, weary of the Big Government meddling of recent years, are ready to embrace. The only question is: Can Democrats muster the political wisdom and courage to support something from the opposition that would work?”

Investor’s Business Daily editorial board

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A Conflict of Budget Visions

“Paul Ryan’s budget proposal for next year is the most ambitious conservative initiative since — well, actually, since ever.”

National Review’s editorial board

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GOP proposes real spending cut

“Fortunately, the “Path to Prosperity” economic blueprint recognizes that Mr. Obama’s Keynesian borrow-and-stimulate policy has been an utter failure. It articulates that the best way out of the malaise is to follow the tax simplification model President Reagan used in the 1980s.

The idea is simple. When companies pay less money to Uncle Sam, they have more capital available to hire employees and expand. When tax rates are lower, people work harder because they can keep more of what they earn. The Budget Committee asked the Heritage Foundation to estimate the economic impact of these incentives using a dynamic scoring model. Heritage numbers crunchers predicted Mr. Ryan’s plan would result in 1.6 million more jobs in the private sector and a $400 billion increase in gross domestic product by 2021.”

The Washington Times editorial board

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TIME: “Path to Prosperity” Provides Blueprint for Budget Debate

“Washington has talked ad nauseam about the need to shrink our debt before world financial markets lose faith in America’s solvency, leading to unimaginable economic chaos. But when a bipartisan fiscal commission created by President Obama – who has repeatedly spoken of the need for deficit reduction – came up with a set of proposals in December, partisans on both sides bashed its ideas and Obama kept a cautious distance. Nor did Obama offer substantial deficit-reduction ideas in his State of the Union address. ‘When the President decided not to do anything in his budget, that's when I made my mind up,’ Ryan says.”

– Michael Crowley and Jay Newton-Small, TIME

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RGA Leadership Supports House GOP Budget, calls for Medicaid Block Grants

“The House Republican budget halts the out of control spending spree of recent years, and imposes a back to basics, fiscal discipline that voters clearly asked for in last November’s mid-term elections. It also gives businesses the certainty they need to create jobs and accelerate the engines of economic growth. […]

“Medicaid reform is welcome and the Republican Governors overwhelmingly support the creation of a Medicaid block grant program. This well established approach will give states the freedom to innovate, share best practices, and create cost-effective ways to deliver quality health care to our most vulnerable populations.”

 RGA Chairman Rick Perry (Governor of Texas), Vice Chairman Bob McDonnell (Governor of Virginia), Policy Chairman Haley Barbour(Governor of Mississippi) and Policy Vice Chairman Chris Christie (Governor of New Jersey)

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“The First Serious Proposal Produced by Either Party”

“The House budget resolution is the first serious proposal produced by either party to deal with the overriding issue of our time. The national debt we are amassing threatens the livelihood and the liberty of every single American, and in particular the life prospects of our young people.

“Anyone criticizing this plan without offering a specific and equally bold program of his own has failed in the public duty to be honest and clear with Americans about the gravest danger we are facing together.”

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels

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Kasich: Give Budget Consideration to Begin Reducing Deficit, Creating Jobs

“When Paul Ryan served as a staffer on the House Budget Committee when I was chairman in the 90’s, I knew he was someone special. Today, as he releases his “Path to Prosperity” budget, I’m especially proud of him and what he’s accomplished. Chairman Ryan’s budget seeks to reform how government works so that it can provide better services at a better value. This is the same idea behind The Jobs Budget here in Ohio, and I hope folks in Washington give his budget the careful consideration it deserves so we can begin reducing the deficit and creating jobs.”

Ohio Governor John Kasich 

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Wisconsin Governor Walker Urges More Flexibility on Medicaid, Budget Delivers 

“As the Committee on the Budget develops its recommended course of consideration by the House of Representatives, we strongly urge you to construct a framework that will allow for state freeform of the Medicaid program based on greater state flexibility. As governors, we have been making difficult decisions to curb the growth of Medicaid. In many cases, we would made different decisions if we had greater authority over the management of the program.”

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

“Block Grants Are Essential if We Are Ever to Have a Chance at Real Reform”

“The current Medicaid financing scheme is a study in micro-management and unfunded mandates.  Block grants are a powerful vehicle to allow states to find innovative ways to provide better services at a lower cost. Today, states have to navigate voluminous rules set by federal bureaucrats which regulate everything from who has to be covered to what services have to be provided.

“With Medicaid swallowing up and ever-increasing portion of state budgets, states need the flexibility to design a system which better responds to Utah unique needs and demographics, while not diverting money from other essential state needs like education and transportation.  Block grants provide that flexibility. Real Medicaid reform will rise from the states, and block grants are essential if we are ever to have a chance at real reform.”

Utah Governor Gary Herbert

Parnell: House GOP Delivers on Promise, Gives States More Freedom to Tailor Benefits

“Today House Republicans delivered on a promise: They proposed a bold, serious, fiscally responsible federal budget for 2012 that cuts $6 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years and puts America on a path to balance the budget and begin paying down the national debt.

“I want to thank House Republicans for working to arrest unsustainable federal spending, while including block grants to the states for programs like Medicaid. By giving states more freedom and flexibility, we can employ cost-saving measures and tailor solutions for the benefit of our unique populations.”

– Alaska Governor Sean Parnell

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Otter: GOP Budget a “Serious Plan for Addressing a System that Has Gone Off the Rails”

“Having served in Congress with both House Budget Committee Chair man Paul Ryan and with our own Mike Simpson, I’m not at all surprised that they have been instrumental in putting forward a clear, responsible plan for returning long-overdue fiscal responsibility to the federal government.

“Especially during these difficult economic times, it has been disappointing to say the least that Washington has continued to spend and spend taxpayers’ money while ignoring the huge debt being imposed by generations to come. Here in Idaho, we have met our own fiscal challenges head-on by balancing our budget, avoiding tax increases, and setting the stage for recovery with sound tax policy and limited government spending. Likewise, the House Budget Committee’s proposal is a serious plan for addressing a system that has gone off the rails. It deserves out encouragement and support.”

– Idaho Governor Butch Otter

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Independent Businesses’ Letter to Budget Chairman Paul Ryan

On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, thank you for your efforts to address our nation’s fiscal problems…Unsustainable government growth crowds out the private sector and leads to negative economic consequences like higher tax rates – small businesses know that they cannot grow and create jobs under such conditions.”

“On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, thank you for your efforts to address our nation’s fiscal problems…Unsustainable government growth crowds out the private sector and leads to negative economic consequences like higher tax rates – small businesses know that they cannot grow and create jobs under such conditions.”

National Federation of Independent Business

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Tax Relief Coalition Applauds Chairman Ryan’s Budget Plan

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has just released a budget blueprint that provides a pathway for reforming a broken tax system to make America more competitive; his proposal confronts the drivers of our nation’s debt – escalating entitlement costs – and, as a result, avoids an otherwise inevitable massive tax increase that would hinder job creation and slow economic growth. Chairman Ryan has put forward a budget that will help spur job creation and economic growth and that will help save the nation’s critical health and retirement security programs.”

Tax Relief Coalition

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Chamber Letter to Members of House of Representatives

“The Chamber applauds House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who began this process with the release of his budget outline to rein in spending, deficits, and debt while reforming our nation’s broken tax code and restructuring entitlements to ensure they protect current generations while beginning to preserve critical health and retirement security programs for future generations. 

“There is simply no way spiraling spending and mounting debt can be sustained without economically crippling tax increases.

“The cost of doing nothing is not acceptable…The time for action is now.”

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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Ryan Budget Saves Entitlements

“This is what the people have been waiting for, true leadership to deliver on the promises that swept Republicans to historic gains last November.”

60 Plus Association

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A  Bold Serious Proposal

“I applaud Congressman Ryan for introducing a bold, serious proposal to tackle the country’s fiscal crisis and put our nation on the path to prosperity.”

“Already, the Left is launching venomous, almost hysterical, attacks against this commonsense effort to repair the federal budget and get our economy moving again with real job creation. Americans had heard their tired ‘us versus them’ rhetoric before and Americans have been down their failed road of bigger government, bigger deficits and job crushing debt.”

– Americans for Prosperity

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Conservatives Have Their Budget

“In stark contrast to the foolhardy budget offered by the President, who proposed a $1.5 trillion tax hike to triple the debt in ten years, the GOP budget increases economic growth by over $1.5 trillion in its first decade.

“The thoughtful solutions proposed in the GOP Budget show the country can restore its fiscal health and save taxpayers from the foolhardy decisions of the past few years.”

– Americans for Tax Reform

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A Party of Ideas

“What it does is to restore the GOP’s reputation for intellectual vitality.”

The Ethics and Public Policy Center 

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Chairman Ryan’s Budget Resolution Changes America’s Course

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, for the first time in recent memory, sets our nation on a different and better path… This is a monumental budget proposal for monumental times, and it opens a serious and necessary conversation about the future of our nation and its great legacy of freedom, opportunity, and self-government.”

– The Heritage Foundation

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GOP Unveils Bold Budget Proposal

“America’s current path is unsustainable and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget seeks to set our nation on a different, more sustainable and prosperous course.”

Heritage Action for America

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Beginning of Adult Conversation in Congress 

“The Path to Prosperity has elevated the debate on tax and spending policy in Congress to a thoughtful level not seen in years.”

– National Taxpayers Union

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Ryan Plan Smartly Marries Tax Reform with Spending Reform

“This will assure that government spending does not consume an increasing share of the private sector while making the tax code far more conducive to a growing economy.”

– The Tax Foundation

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Members of Congress

Ryan Budget a “Serious and Detailed Plan” for Reducing National Debt

“Congressman Ryan is presenting a plan, in other words, to address our most pressing problems head-on at a moment when the President and other Democrat leaders simply refuse to do so themselves.

“He’s doing what his constituents have sent him here to do.

“Anybody can say that our nation’s problems need to be addressed – but history will show that Chairman Ryan is one of those who actually stepped up to do it. And he should be applauded for that by people of good will on both sides.”

– Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell 

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Lieberman Thanks Chairman Ryan for Proposing Debt Reduction Program

“I thank Chairman Ryan for having the courage not just to talk frankly about the danger America’s national debt poses to the American people but also to propose a comprehensive program to cut the national debt. One does not have to agree with all or most of Chairman Ryan’s proposals to be able to applaud his serious commitment to reduce the debt that threatens our nation’s future.”

– Senator Joe Lieberman

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Reform or Go Broke

“Chairman Ryan deserves credit for telling the American people the truth about our runaway health spending and for putting forward real solutions. His plan repeals the wrong-headed health law and replaces it comprehensive reforms. Medicaid's safety net for the poorest patients would be strengthened by transitioning to a block grants that empower states to provide care in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.”

– Senator Tom Coburn

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Alexander Statement on Chairman Ryan’s Budget Plan

“The debt commission and now Congressman Paul Ryan have come up with serious proposals to address our nation’s urgent debt problem. Sixty-four U.S. senators have said they’re ready to go to work with the president on the debt. All the players are now on the field except the most important player – the President of the United States.”

– Senator Lamar Alexander

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Senator Rubio Welcomes House Budget As Serious First Step to Tackle Debt

“Chairman Ryan’s budget plan offers an important first step toward tackling our debt crisis and boosting our economy.  While it significantly cuts spending, it is also a pro-growth prescription and outlines fundamental policies that will help create jobs, which is essential to reining in our debt. This is a serious proposal, worthy of a real in-depth debate about how we are going to boost our economy, save our safety net programs, and tackle our debt crisis.

– Senator Marco Rubio

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Welcome Leadership Shown in House Budget Outline

“We need to move the discussion from billions to trillions. Chairman Ryan’s plan puts the budget on a better path to balance the budget and improve the economy, and I look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal.”

– Senator Mike Crapo

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Speaker Boehner Applauds Chairman Paul Ryan’s Budget, “The Path to Prosperity”

“Our budget will help spur job creation today, stop spending money we don’t have, and lift the crushing burden of debt that threatens our children’s future.  It also recognizes Americans are concerned not just about how much government spends, but how government spends it, and keeps our pledge to set strict budget caps that limit federal spending on annual basis. Most importantly, this budget shows families and small businesses that we’re serious about dealing with America’s spending illness so we can put our country on a path to prosperity.”

– Speaker of the House John Boehner

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Congressman Cantor Statement on Republicans’ FY 2012 Budget Resolution

“I commend Chairman Ryan and the Budget Committee for their hard work on this honest, fact-based proposal. This budget represents a choice on how we move forward as a country, and House Republicans are choosing to lead with our common sense proposals to cut spending and get our fiscal house in order while at the same time bolstering economic growth and job creation. With this budget, we will not only ensure that our country's fiscal future is in better standing for the days ahead, but for our children and grandchildren.”

– House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

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GOP Budget is The Path to Prosperity

“The House Republican budget is a responsible alternative to President Obama’s unaffordable plan to tax, borrow, and spend. The Republican budget will not only put our nation on a path back to economic security and prosperity, but it will preserve and strengthen critical programs like Medicare for future generations. The time to act is now. House Republicans have chosen to lead when President Obama has irresponsibly chosen a future of debt and despair. Republicans have put forward a fact-based budget that makes tough choices and recognizes we must limit government and grow the economy in order to ensure our future as a free and prosperous nation.”

– House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy

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FY 2012 Budget Proposal to Put America Back on a “Path to Prosperity”

“The fact-based budget proposed by Chairman Ryan provides what President Obama and congressional Democrats have repeatedly failed to offer: a responsible plan that sets the nation on a fiscally sustainable course; an economic growth plan to jump-start the most tepid recovery in recent history; a plan to put us on a path to pay off the job-destroying debt that threatens to bankrupt our children’s future.”

– GOP Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling

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Price: GOP “Path to Prosperity” Offers a Bold Vision for the Future

“The American people know that we cannot continue piling up a mountain of debt on our children and grandchildren. With the ‘Path to Prosperity,’ House Republicans will fight to bring about reforms that matter in families daily lives and result in a stable and secure future. Leadership requires vision. Today House Republicans unveiled our bold vision for a stronger, more prosperous America.”

– GOP Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price

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RSC Chairman Jordan on the Ryan Budget Proposal

“The Ryan proposal takes an honest look at the challenges ahead.  This document lays out a blueprint to save Medicare, save Social Security, reform the job-stifling tax code, repair the welfare safety net, cut wasteful spending, and get the debt under control over the coming decades.”

– Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan

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Roskam: New Budget Puts U.S. on Path to Prosperity and Fiscal Responsibility

“Today, the House Budget Committee unveiled the House Republicans’ FY 2012 Budget, a proposal that spurs job creation today, lifts the crushing burden of debt, and puts our country on a path to prosperity and fiscal responsibility. It comes in stark contrast to President Obama’s FY 2012 budget – a plan to increase taxes by $1.5 trillion, continue Washington’s spending binge, and ensure Medicare and Social Security go bankrupt.”

– Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam

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Camp: GOP Budget an “Honest Reality” About What is Wrong with Washington

“As I have said time and again, the federal government as it exists today has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. However, the Path to Prosperity,’ the budget solution unveiled by Chairman Ryan this morning, is a proposed budget which provides an honest reality to the American people about what is wrong with Washington and how we can fix it.”

– House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp

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Upton Statement on Chairman Ryan’s Budget

“America’s fiscal challenges can no longer be ignored, and with his budget, Chairman Ryan is laying down a marker for fiscal honesty and responsibility. The contrast with the President’s budget and the failure of Senate Democrats to put a check on spending could not be more stark. A path to prosperity is exactly what America needs, and House Republicans are leading the way by focusing on job creation and fighting for a budget that allows America to live within our means. Now Washington Democrats need to demonstrate whether they are willing to get serious about protecting America’s fiscal future.”

– House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton

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McKeon Statement on GOP Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2012

“In a time when we face a serious threat to our future prosperity, the American people deserve dependable and effective solutions. We must act now to set the precedent of responsible government. I am confident that Republican’s Path to Prosperity puts our nation back on a path of economic security and fiscal sustainability.”  

– House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon

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Kline: Budget Puts Our Nation Back on the Path of Prosperity

“Today, House Republicans are unveiling a tough, responsible budget that will help America’s job creators put our nation back to work, secure America’s future by stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have, and preserve benefits for today’s seniors while strengthening the safety net for our children and grandchildren. This budget will restore economic certainty and put our nation back on the path to prosperity.”

– House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline

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Smith: New Budget “Addresses All Aspects of Out-of-Control Government Spending”

“The Path to Prosperity proposal addresses all aspects of out-of-control government spending.  This budget cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget. It keeps taxes low and reforms our tax code to help businesses invest and grow. It also repeals and defunds the Democrats’ health care law, and advances solutions focused on lowering costs.”

– House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith 

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Graves: We Must Stop Spending Money We Don’t Have

“We must stop spending money we don’t have… Our current path is unsustainable and will only lead to more economic turmoil. The House Republican budget changes this. The Path to Prosperity is a responsible plan that will provide certainty by cutting over six trillion dollars in spending and eliminating nearly $800 billion in taxes. It’s time to put brakes on Washington’s runaway spending habits and make common sense reforms that will spark long-term economic growth, enable small businesses to grow and get Americans back on the payroll.”

– House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves

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Bachus: New Budget “Put Us on the Right Path Forward”

“The record-breaking levels of spending and debt are unsustainable and damaging to the economy. We are spending money we don’t have, we are borrowing 42 cents for every dollar spent, and we’re sending the bill to our children and grandchildren.  The solution will have to include entitlement reform. Let’s acknowledge that stakes are very high. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has called the debt ‘the most significant threat to our national security.’ China is our largest creditor and can afford to buy three new Joint Strike Fighters every week and still have $50 million left over at the end of the week just from our interest payments.  It is time to put the government’s financial house in order for the future of our country and Chairman Ryan’s 2012 Budget Resolution put us on the right path forward.” 

– House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus

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