Ryan’s Opening Statement: The President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Opening Remarks, as Prepared for Delivery

Good afternoon, everybody—and welcome. I want to start by giving a special welcome to Director Burwell. This is her first House testimony as the head of OMB. And I can’t say that I envy you. But regardless, I want to thank you for taking the time to speak with us.

Now, this is the fifth time in six years that the President has submitted his budget past the statutory deadline. That is the worst record of any President, and it will further disrupt an already broken process. In fact, the administration won’t deliver key details of this budget until next week. All I can say is that next year, I hope the President will submit his budget in full and on time.

But even if it had been on time, this budget is nothing to write home about. Last month, CBO said the deficit will start to grow again in just two years. By 2022, we will be running trillion-dollar deficits again—even though we will be taking in a historically large share of revenue. That’s because spending will grow twice as much as revenue. So over the next ten years, we will add $10 trillion more to our national debt—for a grand total of $27 trillion.

Spending is out of control, and we have to take back the reins. But the President’s budget would only loosen our grip. It is just more of the same: higher taxes, more spending, and weak economic growth. Take a look at some of his major proposals:

The President wants to increase spending by $791 billion over the budget window. He also wants to increase spending from the already insolvent highway trust fund by $90 billion.

The President has abandoned his proposal to adopt what OMB has called a “more accurate” measure of inflation. So instead of reforming our entitlements, the President is backing away from the one significant reform he’s embraced.

And the President wants to increase taxes on families and job creators by another $1.8 trillion on top of the $1.7 trillion he’s already imposed. He wants families to pay more so Washington can spend more.

This is a moment that calls for leadership and collaboration. We have to fix our spending problem before it is too late. Instead of meeting his legal deadlines and building on bipartisan progress, the President continues to miss those deadlines and wants to undo last year’s bipartisan agreement. Instead of looking for more ways to preserve and strengthen our entitlements, the President has abandoned the one proposal he suggested in last year’s budget. So I’m disappointed to say that 2014 is shaping up to be yet another missed opportunity.

That said, I want to thank you again for appearing today. And with that, I want to recognize the ranking member, Mr. Van Hollen, for his opening remarks.