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Chairman Yarmuth Opening Statement at Members’ Day Hearing

Feb 27, 2020

Washington, D.C.— Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, gave the following opening statement at today’s Members’ Day Hearing. Remarks as prepared are below:

Last year, with the support of both Republican and Democratic members of this Committee and after months of deliberations, Congress put in place bipartisan budgets for 2020 and 2021, complete with rational discretionary toplines allowing strong investments in our national and economic security.

As that work was underway, I used this Chairmanship to revitalize the Committee with the goal of providing much more aggressive oversight of the budget. We held hearings addressing some of the biggest economic issues facing our nation, including the benefits of immigration reform, the costs of climate change, aging infrastructure, income inequality, the potential costs of debt, the federal government's vital role in mitigating economic downturns, tax policy, and more. These issues will continue to impact, and in some cases dictate, our nation’s economic outlook and fiscal health.

So, while we already have a budget in place for this year and the next, at the pace Congress moves, it is never too early to start preparing for 2022. With the expiration of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the budget resolution will, once again, be Congress’ primary tool for developing and enforcing our fiscal policies. This hearing will provide us with an opportunity to hear the budget priorities of our colleagues as we move forward with those discussions.

At the same time, and in the face of a President who has flouted our budget laws and repeatedly trampled the lines of executive budgetary power, this Committee will fight to enforce and strengthen Congress’ power of the purse, provide oversight of the people’s budget, and ensure the warped vision the President presented in his 2021 Budget does not come to fruition.

Good governing and responsible budgeting require smart, often difficult, choices. This process begins by evaluating the tradeoffs our choices require while taking into consideration the long-term effects and benefits. It includes considering both revenues and spending. And our goal must be to better serve the American taxpayers and prepare our nation’s budget for the future. 

It is my hope that this hearing will provide insight into which issues and longer-term budgetary challenges this committee should examine as we work to build an economy that works for all Americans – not just the wealthy and corporations. 

I thank members for taking time out of their busy schedules and speaking before the committee today. I look forward to hearing from each of you.


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