Chairman Black Opening Statement on Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2018

Remarks as prepared for delivery on the House floor.

Thank you Mr. Speaker, and I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

I rise today in support of the Senate amendment to H.Con.Res. 71, the budget resolution for fiscal year 2018.

Passing a budget is never easy, and it has once again been a challenge this year.

But I am encouraged with where we are now, and I am pleased the Senate did its work by approving a budget—one we can all support in order to unlock tax reform for the American people.

Without question, there are plenty of things I wish were included in what the Senate passed—ideas that the House put forward earlier this month when we approved our budget.

For example, I still feel strongly about addressing unsustainable mandatory spending. That hasn’t changed.

The growing burden of debt caused by mandatory spending is a real problem that cannot be ignored.

We owe it to the American people to do something, to offer serious reforms that ensure government programs are financially sustainable and working well for generations to come.

And I think we will tackle this important issue in the future. We don’t have a choice.

But despite any shortcomings of the Senate-passed budget, I am encouraged that it does reflect the shared priorities of both chambers.

Moving forward with this budget is also supported by our president.

I want to remind my colleagues that, before final passage last week, the Senate did include numerous provisions previously passed by the House.

And I was proud to be involved in the negotiations with leaders in the House, Senate, and White House.

For example, the Senate-passed budget creates a mechanism that would permit the Budget Committee chairmen to adjust budget allocations if there is future legislation signed into law that revises the BCA spending caps.

The Senate-passed budget also includes numerous improvements to House budget enforcement that are designed to strengthen fiscal discipline.

Because we worked together to find common ground, we can move ahead toward tax reform and expand upon the ideas in the conservative framework unveiled last month.

Throughout my nearly seven years as a member of the House, Republicans have talked about modernizing our outdated and overly complicated tax system.

Today, we have the opportunity to take the next big step to unlock tax reform for the American people, fulfilling the promise we made long ago to our constituents.

By advancing tax reform, we can help Americans keep more of their hard-earned paychecks.

We can make it possible for most Americans to file their taxes on a simple post card.

We can level the playing field for businesses and help them compete better globally.

We can empower entrepreneurs and small businesses, encouraging them to create more jobs.

This budget acknowledges that our economy is in desperate need of a jolt, and the tax cuts included in the Senate-passed budget hold the promise of doing just that.

Put simply, we have the opportunity to make history, by reforming our tax system for the first time in more than three decades.

President Trump is with us on this, and I agree that we must move quickly.

That’s why I urge my colleagues to pass this budget today.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I yield back.