Chairman Arrington Lays Groundwork for Budget Committee PrioritiesWASHINGTON – Today, Chairman Jodey Arrington (TX) and Members of the House Budget Committee held their first official meeting to consider the Rules of the Committee and the Oversight Plan for the 118th Congress.
During his opening remarks, Chairman Arrington emphasized the importance of this committee's role as Americans face runaway deficit spending and an unsustainable debt trajectory.
Click here to watch Arrington's full remarks
Chairman Arrington's opening remarks as delivered:
Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the first meeting of the House Budget Committee for the 118th Congress. We are here to consider the new committee rules and oversight plan...I'm so excited to be back on the Budget Committee. And I am profoundly honored to serve in the role as Chair with the current team. I can't think of a more important committee, Mr. Boyle, than the Budget Committee. Funding the government, the People's Government, to do the people's work is mission critical.
Job number one, there is no defense. There is no safety net for seniors. Pick your favorite program and policy and it doesn't exist without resources. And so this committee is critical, and it's not just about resourcing the government. It's about stewarding taxpayer dollars. It's about our view, our values and what we expect from the People's Government and what the people expect. And I know we have different views on that. And those views will be expressed no doubt in the various topics and debates that we have. But a budget is not just about resourcing, it is priorities, it's policies, it's values. And that's why I think this committee is so important, not to mention that it is our Constitution, constitutional responsibility, the power of the purse.
I hope, Mr. Boyle that we can continue to work. You and I have worked well on Ways and Means. We've done some legislating together, and I've always respected your intellect. And I know your motives are to do well, by your constituents, and by our country. I want this to be the tone of this committee going forward to be just that I want robust debate. I want impassioned defense of the ideas that are debated. But I, would hope that we would also reflect the very best of America's civility and mutual respect. And, and I am and because of that expectation, I'm especially excited to work alongside of my ranking member, Mr. Boyle.
I'm offended when people refer to any committee as a B committee, but especially the Budget Committee. We have an A committee level responsibility. And we have an A size challenge with our current state of fiscal affairs in this country, the runaway deficit spending, the unsustainable debt trajectory, we can debate on the strategies to address this problem that I think if not confronted will be one of the greatest challenges and threats and crises we've ever faced as a nation. That's how serious I see this. But it is it is something that will require the very best and brightest.
But one thing I think is not debatable in that is the math on our deficits and our debt. I don't see this committee as just the committee responsible for putting out a budget resolution. I see this as the committee for restoring fiscal accountability to our great nation, and to this institution. I know there'll be differences of opinion on how to go about that. But there can't be any debate about the path that we're on. It will end badly. And I know you've got a young family, I have a young family. The Constitution guides me, my constituents, and for me, as does my conscience. But it is the future of our children that I think is at stake when it comes to our national debt. And if you think about the 120%, over the size of our economy today, and the 220 as Penn Wharton projects using CBO numbers that it will be in 30 years. We don't make it. We just don't make it if we don't intervene.
I hope we can have a fiscal State of the Union. I hope we can level set on the numbers. I hope we as members on both sides can take those facts and figures with our own ideas of how to address it and educate the American people and sound the alarm and raise the awareness so we can bring them along in this journey because I think people quite frankly, are numb to the mind numbing trillions of dollars that we're racking up.
My intention is also to focus on growth, you and I have talked about this. When we were last in this level of indebtedness as a nation was after World War II. And the way we got out of it to a more sustainable and responsible level of debt to GDP was we reduced spending, and we grew the economy. And that is the same formula, albeit with greater challenges and stiffer headwinds. But we in the 50s and 60s, we were growing the economy over 4% and the 70s and 80s, it was 3%. And now, the last decade we've been under 2%. We can do better, we have to do better, because growth is a critical component of getting out of this mess and leaving our country and our fiscal affairs for our children better than we found it.