September 25, 2021

Smith Opening Remarks at House Budget Committee FY22 Reconciliation Markup

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We are here today to mark up a massive tax and spending plan, over 2,400 pages, that was written entirely on a partisan basis by Democrats. It was thrown before this committee, in the past 48 hours, to meet an arbitrary, artificial, and purely political deadline – dictated by Democrat leadership. And why? Because the majority needs to reconcile infighting within its own party.

We are not here marking up a budget or reconciliation bill to address the debt limit. Democrats spent months ignoring our debt limit while they sat in back rooms drafting this 2,400-page tax and spending plan. Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. They have the tools they need to pass a bill to address our debt limit. But so far, they’ve refused.

And while Democrats control both chambers of Congress and the White House, this entire reconciliation process has been marked by chaos and disarray, and plenty of excuses about why this bill has trouble getting passed.

Why? Well, because this bill is a disaster for working families. It’s a big giveaway to the wealthy. It’s a laundry list of agenda items pulled right out of the Bernie Sanders’ socialist playbook.

Let’s remember how we got here: we were supposed to mark-up a budget in July, but Democrats did not have the votes.

They were supposed to bring a budget resolution to the House floor before August – they still did not have the votes.

Last month, Congress was supposed to vote on a budget – but once again, Democrats did not have the votes and had to resort to smuggling it in a rule in order to pass it – the $68 trillion Bernie Budget.

Now, Democrats are using the budget process to get around the filibuster in the Senate so they can enact radical levels of new spending and tax hikes on working families.

And I mean radical.

For starters, it is the most expensive bill in the history of our country. In fact, during the markups held by multiple committees on their respective portions of this bill, several violated their reconciliation instructions by trying to spend more. That’s why this bill that we are marking up today is not $3.5 trillion, it is $4.3 trillion – and some Democrats have publicly said they want it to be even higher. But only time will tell exactly how high it goes, because as of right now, only one percent of this Frankenstein bill has actually been scored.

Bizarrely, President Biden is now claiming the cost of his massive socialist spending spree will be – get this – “zero.” This is absurd. This is the same president who refused to acknowledge a crisis at our border and who says the higher prices families are experiencing month after month is just transitory.

Where does he get his talking points? To make the claims he is making about the cost of this bill is an insult to the American people who will be saddled with the debt.

To put this level of spending in perspective, it is five times America’s annual defense budget. More than the GDP of Canada and Mexico combined. And nearly five times what we spend in Medicare each year to support our seniors.

Meanwhile, inflation is on pace to be the highest in 40 years – fueled by this type of reckless spending Washington Democrats are pushing. It is costing working families more to put food on their tables, gas in their cars, and clothes on their backs. Even the Congressional Budget Office has said that “inflation has eroded the purchasing power of families.”

In short, the Democrat agenda is crippling family budgets. But the only solution that Democrats have put forward is spend trillions more, to try to inflate our way out of inflation, while ignoring the other crises we are facing – the border crisis, the energy crisis, the Afghanistan crisis, and contributing to all of that, the crisis of leadership in the Oval Office.

This reconciliation bill, which includes amnesty for ten million illegal immigrants, only makes these crises worse, along with a host of new job-killing taxes and radical policies.

When you look at what this bill proposes, it is crystal clear that Washington Democrats’ goal is to funnel more money to their wealthy friends and elites by raising taxes on working class Americans.

For example, this bill includes $2.1 trillion in new taxes on American families and job creators – the largest tax increase in American history. The combined federal and state tax rates on job creators would be higher than that of Europe or communist China. Despite the President’s pledge not to raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 dollars per year, the Joint Committee on Taxation has confirmed that two-thirds of tax increases on employers would be passed on to lower- and middle-income Americans.

On top of that, we see $54 billion in tax increases on grieving families through an enhanced death tax; a $78 billion tax hike on small businesses by limiting the 20% small business deduction; and a $96 billion excise tax that also falls almost entirely on low- and middle-income families.

Democrats are even raising taxes on methane, leaving dairy farmers in my home state of Missouri and around the country to pay an additional $6,500 per cow per year and imposes upwards of a $242 increase in yearly energy costs per family.

My Democrat colleagues want to spend $80 billion to permanently double the size of the IRS to target more taxpayers. Democrats say it is to make the rich pay their fair share – but then why is this bill full of special interest handouts and carveouts for the wealthy?

Over $42 billion in tax credits to purchase luxury electric vehicles. Almost 80% of these credits are claimed by folks making more than $100,000 per year.

$82,000 in home subsidies available to individuals making $200,000 a year.

$7.5 billion for Ivy League schools and Universities including over $2 billion in tax cuts for their bloated endowment income.

$50 billion to give free college to millionaire’s kids, while these same colleges continue jacking up the price of tuition on working class students.

$28,000 in taxpayer funded paid leave benefits to households making half a million dollars a year.

Expanded Obamacare premium tax credits, where families who make over $200,000 actually see a bigger benefit to their bottom line under this policy than families making $50,000.

The spending in this bill is atrocious on its own, but the regulations that come with it will give Washington the greatest command and control over the lives and livelihoods of the American people in our nation’s history.

While working families are struggling to put gas in their cars, this bill spends $150 billion to eliminate traditional energy through a clean electricity mandate that will drive up gas prices and make life that much harder for folks – including those in rural communities.

It imposes price controls on prescription drugs that will limit patient access to lifesaving medications.

And let’s not forget the Green New Deal. This bill contains over $630 billion to fund the Green New Deal wish list, such as $7 billion for electric vehicle infrastructure at the Postal Service. Over $45 billion for a “climate research” slush fund to various sub-agencies, as well as new policies that decrease domestic energy production and will raise energy costs for all Americans.

Let me conclude by saying: we are less than a week away from a government shutdown; there are thousands of people amassing at our southern border; the Taliban are patrolling the streets of Afghanistan armed with American-bought guns and ammo left behind along with those Americans the Biden Administration has abandoned; and the price of everyday goods and services continue to go up.

Why are we not dealing with those crises? Why are we, instead, considering legislation that will make working families pay for handouts to the wealthy?

I look forward to my colleagues’ response.