LATHAM REPORT: THE HOUSE BUDGET DEBATE - LISTENING TO HARDWORKING TAXPAYERS
For hardworking taxpayers, living within a budget is a fact of life, particularly during difficult economic times. But that hasn’t been the case in Congress the last few years as lawmakers, especially in the U.S. Senate, have sought to avoid the politically tough decisions required to put together a responsible budget.By Iowa Congressman Tom Latham
For hardworking taxpayers, living within a budget is a fact of life, particularly during difficult economic times. But that hasn’t been the case in Congress the last few years as lawmakers, especially in the U.S. Senate, have sought to avoid the politically tough decisions required to put together a responsible budget. While the Senate continues to shirk its responsibility to hold a meaningful debate on specific spending blueprints, I’m pleased to report the U.S. House of Representatives just completed a week of open and honest debate and up-or-down votes on different competing budget proposals, resulting in House approval of a federal budget plan for the second consecutive year.
Leaders in the Senate and at the White House continue to show more concern for the next election than the next generation, but lawmakers in the House of Representatives laid out their visions for government spending this week, held meaningful debates on each proposal and gave them up-or-down votes. This due diligence is bringing genuine accountability back to Congress, and it’s showing a commitment to the American people that the House understands the value of their tax dollars.
Hardworking taxpayers have sacrificed enough, and they’ve seen too many of their tax dollars wasted. The budget debate in the House this week is part of a comprehensive effort to create a more efficient, effective government that spends less, better serves hardworking taxpayers and encourages a healthy economy. In all, we debated seven different budget proposals that contained a wide range of ideas and priorities.
I supported a budget plan that puts the federal government on a path toward a balanced budget and fiscal responsibility. It would create a simpler, fairer tax system that will encourage job creation and remove tax headaches for American families, business owners and farmers. It would also guarantee the promise of Medicare by making bipartisan and voluntary changes that offer seniors health coverage similar to what members of Congress are offered while preserving traditional Medicare as a choice for anyone who wants it, now and in the future.
The House of Representatives put aside political concerns this week to hold an honest debate about federal spending priorities, ultimately approving a federal budget for the second consecutive year. By contrast, the U.S. Senate continues its refusal to enact a budget for the third straight year because it would force lawmakers to vote on politically difficult issues. It’s always been my belief that making tough choices for the benefit of the American people is Congress’s job. With the budget debate last week, the House took another important step toward restoring accountability to the government and protecting hardworking taxpayers.