CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008 -- (House of Representatives - March 29, 2007)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, over the last 6 years, under one party control we had the largest and fastest accumulation of national debt in our Nation's history. The national debt skyrocketed to $8.8 trillion. Today we have a budget that changes the failed policies of the past and is, instead, a new direction to get the U.S. government back in the black with surpluses like those the country enjoyed at the beginning of this decade.
At the start of the 110th Congress, our party promised that when we took over as the majority party we would get the fiscal books back in order. This budget fulfills that promise by bringing the budget back to surplus by 2012. It gets us there by strictly adhering to the pay-as-you-go rules that was implemented at the beginning of this year. Additionally, this budget contains tough program integrity measures to crack down on wasteful spending, and it directs all committees to review their programs to promote efficiency and eliminate unnecessary spending.
This budget stands in stark contrast to the President's budget on many fronts. As I previously stated, this budget reaches balance in 2012 and starts paying down our debt. The President's budget does neither.
Budgets are all about priorities. This budget makes it clear that the priorities of this Congress are the priorities of the American people. Our budget provides for our national security, our veterans, our children, and working families across America.
The budget framework contains the necessary resources to meet critical threats to the Nation and to deliver excellent health care to those who have served in the armed forces. Funding for veterans' services is increased by $6.6 billion over the 2007 level, and by $3.5 billion above the President's request for 2008. This will cover the Veterans Administration's (VA) increasing patient load and the cost of forthcoming recommendations to improve health care facilities and treatment for service members and veterans. It is the largest expansion of veterans' healthcare funding since the creation of our VA system.
Most importantly, this budget reduces the deficit, which will decrease our reliance on foreign investors to buy our debt. Since 2001, foreign ownership of Treasury securities has more than doubled to $2.2 trillion, leaving our economy more vulnerable to foreign investment decisions and instability. The more we rely on our global competitors like China and India to finance our debt, the more vulnerable America's economic well-being--now and in the future--becomes. As the father of two little boys, I did not come to this Congress to leave a legacy of debt for them or future generations to climb out of. Let us pass this sensible, fiscally responsible budget that protects important American values so that years from now, we can look back and say, yes, we had to make some tough decisions, but they were the right decisions under the right circumstances, and American families are the primary beneficiaries as a result.
The Budget Resolution before us today makes the tough decisions to get us back to surpluses, while offering an economic stimulus plan now which is fair, quick, and responsible. It supports our troops, but it also supports our Nation's veterans, our seniors, and our children's education programs. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this common sense fiscally responsible Budget Resolution.
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