Chairman Womack Opening Remarks at FY19 Members’ Day Hearing

As prepared for delivery during today’s hearing: 

Good morning, and welcome to the House Budget Committee’s hearing for members to present their budget ideas for fiscal year 2019.

The Congressional budget resolution offers a comprehensive outline of the federal government’s finances and provides a roadmap to address the nation’s fiscal challenges.

Understandably, crafting the budget each year is not a simple or an easy task.

In order to build an effective and responsible budget, our committee has taken the time to consider several items.

Each year, we look at the President’s budget request, which reveals the Administration’s policy and funding priorities.

We hear from authorizing committees about their legislative priorities.

And throughout the process of planning and building the budget, we greatly rely on the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook, or “baseline,” this year received on April 9.

Because CBO’s baseline serves a benchmark from which to consider the effects of policy options and determine funding levels, the budget cannot be written without the baseline.

Even with receipt of all these pieces in the process, the House Budget Committee cannot balance the budget alone. We welcome and encourage the input of members across the whole House.

While the House Budget Committee is responsible for considering and ultimately writing the budget framework each year, our work is better and more reflective of the whole House when all members engage in the process.

Each year, our Members’ Day hearing provides a forum for members to weigh in on their legislative priorities for their districts, states, and indeed, for our country and to suggest ideas for budget savings, as required by the Congressional Budget Act.

However, today is not the first opportunity members have had to be a part of the process this year.

We launched an online portal earlier this year to accept submissions for innovative policy reforms.

As our work continues on the budget resolution, we look forward to considering additional ideas that will help us craft a responsible and balanced plan for the future.

Thank you to the members joining us today, and with that, I yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Yarmuth.