March 29, 2022

Smith Opening Statement: President Biden's FY23 Budget

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Director Young, welcome back to the House Budget Committee. Congratulations on your confirmation as Director and on becoming a new mom last year. I’m very happy for you and your family.

When you testified last year on President Biden’s FY22 budget, alarm bells were already going off about the impact the president’s agenda would have on the economy, on inflation, and on the security of our southern border.

At that time, the crises created by President Biden and the Democrat agenda were already piling up. That list has only grown since – including an energy crisis with folks paying over $4 a gallon at the pump; a crime crisis in communities across this country; an education crisis that has perpetuated the mistreatment of kids in our schools under the guise of COVID-19.

So, now we have President Biden’s FY23 budget – a proposal that deliberately makes every crisis American families are facing – because of President Biden and the Democrats’ agenda – that much worse.

American families are facing a spike in prices not seen in this country in 40-years – a $3,500 inflation tax on every family in America last year. The President’s budget keeps the reckless spending going – doubling down on the delusion that the answer to a spending-driven inflation crisis is another $73 trillion in spending or the Build Back Broke agenda which this budget tries to cover up using a “deficit-neutral reserve fund.” The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has confirmed there is nothing “deficit-neutral” about that agenda. CBO confirmed it would add $3 trillion to the debt.

As gas prices have skyrocketed, the President’s budget surrenders America’s energy independence and attacks American energy companies so that we are more reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs – more dependent on countries like Russia, China, and Venezuela at a time when the world seems an even more hostile place.

This budget also includes potentially up to $4 trillion in tax increases, more than $1.5 trillion of that falling on American families and small businesses. $2.5 trillion you explicitly show in your budget while you are concealing the other $1.5 trillion that comes from the Build Back Better agenda you have covered up in a deficit-neutral reserve fund. Over the next 10 years, Biden’s budget calls for $58 trillion in total taxes – the highest sustained tax burden in American history. And while folks see their taxes go up and the value of their paychecks go down, Biden’s budget gives a 12 percent raise to the IRS to target more Americans.

We already know where this type of tax-and-spend agenda is going. Look at the past year after the Democrats’ $2 trillion Biden Bailout Bill was signed into law –jobs in 2021 grew less than CBO said they would BEFORE that $2 trillion spending bill came on the scene.

After over 2.9 million border encounters occurred since Biden took office, the President’s budget continues the same catch-and-release policies that have resulted in the worst border crisis in over 20 years. There’s no commitment to border security in this budget; no using the $1.9 billion in border wall funding that was just renewed as part of the most recent omnibus spending bill. This budget allows $350 million in border wall steel to continue rusting away – while contractors are paid billions to babysit unused materials. It cuts funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement by $150 million. All of it is a slap in the face to the men and women dealing with a security and humanitarian crisis the President created.

And this is not about the President being frugal. He gives non-national security agencies a 12 percent average increase.

The President says, “show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.” For the second straight year we see this President values a government that tells its citizens how to live their lives. He values an economy where everything from the clothes you put on your back, to the food you put on your table, to the gas you put in your car is more expensive. He values open borders and energy dependence. He values debt – a lot of it – $16 trillion to be exact.

The American people are not going to buy this budget – because, frankly, we cannot afford it.