Ryan Statement on Joint Committee’s Missed Opportunity

WASHINGTON – House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin released the following statement with respect to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction:

“I commend my colleagues for their efforts to find common ground in dealing with the drivers of our debt and advancing pro-growth reforms aimed to help create jobs.  Despite their efforts, it is disappointing that the Joint Committee missed an opportunity to tackle our most pressing fiscal and economic challenges.  Unfortunately, Democrats on the Joint Committee never coalesced around a plan, refused to consider structural reforms to government spending on health care, and insisted on at least $1 trillion in higher taxes on hardworking Americans.  Making matters worse, President Obama has still not put forward a credible budget plan, threatened to veto serious solutions that lacked massive tax increases, and spent the past several months pushing for additional spending.

“This committee faced an extraordinary challenge after Senate Democrats failed to pass – or even propose – a budget this year, and the President refused to lead.  We don’t need special commissions and committees to develop solutions; we need the President and members of Congress to do their jobs.

“On a positive note, I believe the Committee’s efforts helped clarify the growing bipartisan consensus on the reforms needed to strengthen our health and retirement security programs and simplify our broken tax code.  Entitlement reform should protect those in or near retirement, while ensuring Medicare and Social Security can deliver on their promise to future generations.  Pro-growth tax reform – with lower tax rates and a broader tax base – can help spur job creation and generate additional revenue.

“The spending enforcement mechanisms in the Budget Control Act will ensure $1.2 trillion in government spending will be cut, and Congress should work to ensure it is done in a smart, sensible manner that does not threaten our national security.  Beyond this modest down payment, I remain hopeful that leaders can rise to meet our generation’s greatest challenge with specific solutions and responsible budgets.”