Chairman Black Op-Ed in Townhall: Why We Need To Pass Our Budget

By Chairman Diane Black

Can the Republican majority govern?

It’s time to prove it.

The voters put Republicans in charge of the House, Senate, and White House in November 2016 to reverse eight years of reckless liberal spending and poor budgeting. It’s time for us to do exactly that.

In July, the Budget Committee that I chair released Building a Better America, our balanced budget plan that reforms government, rebuilds the military, and paves the way for pro-growth tax reform.

Our budget balances in 10 years and puts our country on track to start paying down the $20 trillion debt and ensure that we protect our children and grandchildren from that burden.

It promotes economic growth through policies like tax reform, health care reform, entitlement and welfare reform, and significant spending restraint.

It starts the process of rebuilding our military, after it was decimated during the Obama years. Our budget includes a $70 billion increase in spending for defense, as the threats to our national security continue to grow around the world. It’s not only imperative that we prepare for growing threats, but also that we honor the dedication of our armed services by giving them the equipment and training they need to do their jobs and return safely home.

Our budget reforms and improves the sustainability of programs like Medicare and Medicaid, to make sure they can continue to provide services for generations to come.

And our budget begins to address mandatory spending programs, which are the largest drivers of our national debt. We require Congress to find at least $203 billion in savings in mandatory programs – the largest mandatory savings since 1997 – and work to change the culture of spending in Washington, so that every year the budget process requires us to look at and address these auto-pilot spending programs.

Building a Better America is the most conservative budget in the last 20 years. And we need to get it across the finish line.

In July, the House Budget Committee passed our budget with unanimous support from Republican members. It was a strong show of force for a budget that reflects the type of aggressive, pro-growth, reform-minded policies we as Republicans have talked about for years.

And now the full House of Representatives has an opportunity to pass our budget on the House floor.

There’s a few reasons why it’s important that we get this budget done.

It is our constitutional duty to do so and it is a fulfillment of our commitment to govern responsibly and conservatively.

Budgeting is governing. It is our fundamental responsibility as legislators to put forward and approve a framework that lays out our vision for how conservative policies can help grow the economy, improve the daily lives of the American people and strengthen our country’s national and homeland security.

Passing the 2018 budget resolution is also the key that unlocks our upcoming legislative goals. Without passing a budget, we can’t do tax reform. Without passing a budget, we can’t start to rebuild our military. Without passing a budget, our opportunity to address mandatory spending programs slips away.

This is our opportunity to show the American people that we hear their voice, we’ve answered their call, and we are committed to advocating for an agenda that puts the American people first.

I hope the Senate will follow our lead and put forward a conservative budget that paves the way for tax reform but also addresses the drivers of our national debt, mandatory spending.

But no matter what, the House will continue in its work. We will move forward with our pro-growth agenda. We will do our job.

The next step in fulfilling our promise to the American people is passing our balanced budget.

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