Issues | Budget

Coming into this 112th Congress we have inherited a budget situation exceedingly worse than congress had 4 years ago.  In 2007, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the federal government would have an $800 billion surplus over ten years.  Today, however, the CBO projects a $7.4 trillion deficit in the same time period.  America’s crushing debt, now at $15 trillion, is not only unsustainable in the long term; it is a crisis that left alone immediately threatens the very existence of our republic.

As a member of the House Committee on the Budget, I am working to prevent future irresponsibility. Working with Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the rest of the Budget Committee to create long-term solvency, we passed what is commonly known as The Path to Prosperity, which would cut $6.2 trillion over 10 years and put us on a sustainable path to save our children’s America.  However, it has become clear that Congress is not even responsible enough to pass a simple budget, let alone make the cuts necessary.  This has continued to leave the federal government facing shutdown after shutdown and debt ceiling crisis after crisis, which leaves our men and women in uniform and those most dependent vulnerable.
Therefore, congressional action must be taken proactively to protect American soldiers and current obligations as well as only supporting passage of substantive, long-term, structural reforms, including a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  This is why, I authored H.R. 728, to require the Government give priority to payment of all obligations on the debt held by the public, payment of Social Security benefits, and military funding in the event that the debt limit is reached.  Creating real structural reform for American farmers, I co-authored the REFRESH Act, a 2012 Farm Bill that begins addressing welfare spending, eliminates direct farm subsidies and provides agriculture with a more balanced structure.  Washington ignores the small stuff, but many small wasteful programs add to large waste.  That is why I offered an amendment to cut funding to the Government Printing Office (GPO) in fiscal year 2012, which passed the House with a vote of 218 – 194.  I have also co-sponsored several balanced budget amendments introduced by Representative Justin Amash (R-MI), Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-A), and Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

The American dream is to live freely, to raise a family, start a business, and leave a better life for the next generation.  A heavy free-market and the entrepreneurial spirit is what America is built on, and despite the disastrous fiscal behavior of our federal government, taking the burden off of individuals and businesses is what will keep our economic engine running.   With fear of a failing economy, some in the federal government, though charitable in sprit, turn to artificially “creating jobs” through more bloated spending.  This is neither real nor sustaining.  With high national unemployment, the desire for job growth is great.  However, if given the choice, I choose to let the private sector create jobs by getting the government under control and out of the way.  Please be assured, as a believer in these principles and your representative, I will fight for this cause in the House of Representatives.