When elected to Congress in 2010, I made a promise to my constituents to come to Washington and rein in reckless spending. I was fed up with political insiders who had no issue spending too much money from hardworking taxpayers.
During my first term, Congress passed the Budget Control Act into law, which aimed to decrease federal spending over 10 years. Although this bill was a step in the right direction, it disproportionately impacted defense spending. Spending caps were set under the Budget Control Act for both discretionary and defense, with many of the cost-saving measures coming from defense. Half to be exact.
Republicans have been working hard to correct this wrong by ensuring defense spending remains at adequate levels. However, Democrats continue to hold defense spending hostage by requiring corresponding increases to discretionary spending. The recent budget deal is an excellent example of this.
Last week, the House of Representatives passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. This fiscally irresponsible bill would increase discretionary spending by more than $300 billion over the next two years and could add nearly $1.7 trillion to our already ballooning debt over the next 10 years.
Instead of working to decrease spending, Congress chose to increase spending caps rather than abiding by the caps already in place. For example, in 2020, discretionary spending was scheduled to decrease by $130 billion. However, the recently passed agreement disregards these planned cuts and adds hundreds of billions of dollars to our discretionary spending.
To make matters worse, the Bipartisan Budget Act includes no real offsets. This trillion-dollar budget deal only includes $77 billion in offsets, which is significantly less than what was requested by the White House, which was $574 billion.
Although I don’t agree with many aspects of this bill, the Bipartisan Budget Act does include some redeeming items. Some of those items include a necessary increase in our defense spending and protections over pro-life policies, including the Hyde Amendment, which prevents taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions. And finally, this bill does not include any partisan policy riders from Democrats.
While I support these necessary items, they shouldn’t be held hostage in exchange for an increase in unnecessary spending. It’s ultimately why I could not go along with the deal and voted no. Like I’ve said before, I didn’t come to Washington to pass fiscally irresponsible bills that chip away at conservative ideals.
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