Washington, D.C. – Yesterday evening, Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, delivered the following remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives in support of the House Republicans’ responsible, balanced budget.
Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Mr. Ryan for his remarkable leadership on this and many other areas.
Mr. Chairman, it is no wonder that folks are confused out there. I tell you, there is so much misinformation that is coming, and the fear mongering that is coming from the other side is truly remarkable. So let’s try to set the record and the motive straight.
Republicans care about seniors staring at devastating reductions in Medicare under current law. Republicans care about workers and middle class folks fighting to make ends meet with increased gas prices and increased food prices and on and on. Republicans care about young people struggling to get started in careers and being crushed by government rules and regulations. Republicans care about students getting out of school and not being able to get a job in their field. Because we care about seniors and workers and single moms and young people and students, because we care about all Americans, we present this responsible, balanced budget.
Budgets, Mr. Chairman, are about priorities. Priorities that the American people overwhelmingly support include getting Federal spending under control–poll after poll tells you that–getting our economy moving again so we can get folks back to work, and getting our debt crisis under control so that we may preserve the American Dream for future generations. These are precisely the priorities of our House Republican budget, the Path to Prosperity.
This Path to Prosperity is the way to responsibly balance our budget. American families all across this great land know that the Federal Government shouldn’t spend more than we take in, and we agree.
Let’s look at a couple of specific items.
Our friends talked on the other side about loopholes. We’re interested in closing loopholes, you bet. The gentleman from Maryland says not one dime of closing loopholes will go to reduce the deficit on our side. He’s absolutely wrong, Mr. Chairman. He’s just wrong. I’ve had this discussion with him. He is simply wrong. It’s really sad that he perpetuates that misinformation.
Second, taxes. The gentle lady from Pennsylvania said that we were interested in raising taxes by some remarkable amount. I can’t even remember what it was. In fact, we don’t. We actually balance the budget without raising taxes.
Mr. Chairman, they can’t have it both ways. They can’t say that our plan is not specific enough on taxes and then say it’s so specific that we increase taxes by a specific amount. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Chairman, as you know and our friends on the other side of the aisle know, it’s the Ways and Means Committee that develops the tax plan. That’s why the Budget Committee doesn’t address it.
As a physician, I can tell you, Mr. Chairman, that taking $716 billion from Medicare and spending it on something else means that seniors are not going to have the kind of quality health care that they need, and that’s why we go get that $716 billion. We’ll bring it right back to the Medicare program. It’s imperative to do that to keep quality health care in this country.
Then, finally, they talk about slashing and severe cuts to spending. Mr. Chairman, our budget increases spending by 3.4 percent every single year, on average, and we do that because that’s the number that you need in order to bend the curve down so that we do indeed get to balance.
Mr. Chairman, the Path to Prosperity ensures that we’re honoring America’s most important priorities. Our budget saves and strengthens and secures Medicare. We protect national security. It cares for the poor and the sick by repairing America’s safety net programs. And we expand economic opportunities for all.
We believe in the industriousness and the ingenuity and the dreams of the American people. It’s time that we have a government that is worthy of the people that we represent.