March 21, 2024
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  • Chairman Arrington Delivers Opening Statement at Hearing on The President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request with OMB Director Shalanda Young

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX) delivered his opening statement at the hearing, “President’s Fiscal Year 2025 Budget Request,” with United States Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young testifying.

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    Click HERE to watch Chairman Arrington’s Opening Statement.

    Opening Statement as Delivered:

    The President says that budgets are more than just numbers on a ledger; they are a statement of values. They are a vision for this country. They are a set of policies. When he says, ‘Show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values,’ I agree; I just say it a little differently: show me your budget. And I'll show you your beliefs. I'm not going to question his motives or your motives about your beliefs, your values, and the policies outlined in the budget, I'm simply going to say that there's not a clearer or starker contrast between the President's beliefs and the beliefs of the Republicans who serve with me on the Budget Committee. 

    The beliefs I'm talking about are the beliefs in the role of government in the lives of its citizens. The role of government in solving the problems of our country, beliefs in where we are, the conditions we're living in, and the cause and effect of the policies of this President over the last few years. The beliefs, quite frankly, are of what the President thinks the American people have thought about the last three years, the policies and the outcomes, and the current conditions that people are living with. If the President is going to double down on the last three years, I have got to give him credit. He puts it on paper. He continues to stay committed to his beliefs and the policies that he has advanced over the last three years. 

    I would say it's disconnected from the American people and their reality, their needs, and their desire for a different direction. I think it's disconnected from the pain that they're feeling, especially when it comes to their pocketbook, the record inflation, the interest on the payments on their home, and the payments on their car payments. 

    We have more consumer debt than we've ever had and more credit card debt than ever. People are taking more money out of their 401k than they ever have. It’s a crisis. I know we all have a view of what a crisis is. I hear a lot about the climate crisis from my Democrat colleagues. The folks in West Texas, I can grant you, I don't, I don't travel as much around the country as I do my own district, but my folks would say that the biggest crisis right now is the safety and security of their families because of the policies at the border, the flow of crime and criminals and drugs that threatened their neighborhoods, their families, and their friends and their fellow citizens. They would say their pocketbook, the cost of living, the groceries, the gas, their quality of life. And that's why I think the American people, when you look at the polls and approval is representative of, of our citizenry saying we want something wholly different. 

    Here are some things I've taken away from the beliefs. This budget suggests that the President and those who support the President believe that we should expand entitlements when we haven't even paid for the two most important, in my opinion, Security and Medicare, which are going to be insolvent. We have more people trapped, in my opinion, on dependency on the government than we've ever had because we don't have real consideration for work-capable people going back to work who receive assistance. 

    [The President] expands Medicaid without consideration for the kind of work requirements that he supported when he was Senator. There's an expansion of Obamacare subsidies to people who are making $400,000, $500,000, or even $600,000 because you basically repeal all the eligibility. The studies showed that during the IRA, or during the temporary expansion of Obamacare more than half the people there were above the 40% poverty level. The President suggested in the budget that he's going to use the IRA drug price control savings, which was 100 billion last time would be expanded to 200 billion in savings, that you're going to use somehow to shore up Medicare. We have to work together to shore up Medicare, no question. The President at least outlined a way to do that; he grabs for a tax hike of about 750 billion, and then these savings from the drug price control. I disagree with that strategy in that policy, but nevertheless, that's what's articulated. 

    Why should we believe the president's going to use those savings when the last time through the IRA, there were savings and Medicare that were used to subsidize green energy tax giveaways? It didn't go back into Medicare. Are you saying things in this budget that, in practice, haven't been followed? There are things that Republicans have said that we haven't followed up on too. We have a piece of paper that's very different in terms of our beliefs; I guess you could go back to the biblical admonition, “Show me the fruit of your works. Faith is dead, and belief is dead without work”. And let me tell you, there's as much deficiency in following through with our balanced budget as some of the criticisms that I'm levying on you and the President. 

    Now, our budgets are different; we don't leave 16 trillion, 17 trillion, or 18 trillion in debt, we take that off the next 10 years to balance. President Biden raises taxes $5 trillion at a time when our economy is teetering in recession, where a lot of those taxes would be passed and higher expenses to people that exacerbate inflation, we don't use taxes. We try to reinvest and reignite growth through tax reform and regulatory and trade reform. So, there are two different worlds and two different belief systems. 

    And what I think I would summarize to say in closing is my Democrat colleagues in this President believed in more government, and more spending, and more taxing as the answers to the problems that our country faces.

    I think very strongly that our belief system articulated in our budget suggests that we believe in less government, less spending, less taxes, more empowerment of the American people more freedom, for a better quality of life, for prosperity that will raise all boats that will give that will create the greatest anti-poverty program ever known to man. That is more jobs, more opportunities, higher paychecks, better quality life and standard of living. That's my perspective. I think those two belief systems are as clear to the American people as you can get. I respect that the President not just stand with the horse that he's been riding on. He is galloping at a pace that we haven't seen yet, which is which I think will end an even greater disaster than what we've been experiencing.