Congressman Jim Gerlach (PA-6th District) voted in favor of a bold House budget plan on Thursday that delivers honest solutions for erasing our unsustainable $16 trillion national debt, strengthening retirement and health security for seniors and future generations and fixing our overly complicated tax code to encourage job growth and reward hard work.
The proposal, H. Con. Res. 112, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin passed by a 228-191 margin. The measure awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
Gerlach issued the following statement on the proposal:
"Years of unchecked spending in Washington and a stubborn reluctance to have honest discussions with the American people about how to confront the serious challenges off our time have resulted in nearly $16 trillion in debt. It would take approximately $51,000 from every one of us in America to pay off that mountain of debt -- or about as much as the median yearly income for an American family.
Everyone understands lugging around that kind of debt threatens to destroy jobs, rob our children and future generations of economic freedom and opportunity and bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid. We are headed down the same path as Greece and other European nations, which have wrecked their economies by spending too much, raising taxes too often and refusing to act boldly and responsibly. I supported this budget blueprint to change the dangerous course our country is on and find a better way forward.
The budget I voted for would shrink discretionary government spending roughly 20 percent by 2015 and reduce budget deficits faster than the President has proposed. This budget outline allows us to fulfill the obligations we made to current retirees and ensures that Medicare will still be there when future generations need it. We accomplish those goals not by creating more expensive programs and giving more power to bureaucrats, but by allowing seniors greater control over health care decisions. And the budget proposal calls for allowing everyone to keep more of the money they work so hard every day to earn and encourages job creation by reforming the tax system to make it more competitive.
By comparison, it has been 1,066 days since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his Democrat leadership team have told the American people how they would solve these challenges. That's how long it has been since the Senate passed a budget. Frankly, that's an embarrassment and a complete abdication of responsibility. Meanwhile, the President pitched a budget that would add $1.33 trillion in debt and demand taxpayers fork over an additional $1.9 trillion to the Internal Revenue Service every April to keep government growing and the recovery sputtering. When the President's plan was put to a vote in the House on Wednesday night, not a single Democrat supported it. The President's proposal failed by a 414-0 margin.
This is the second consecutive year that Democrats in Congress abandoned the President's budget proposal. In May 2011, the U.S. Senate rejected the President's budget proposal for the 2012 Fiscal Year by a 97-0 margin. Those overwhelming defeats are a sign that the President has failed to take his obligation to enact a budget seriously. He simply refuses to listen to the American public's demand for greater accountability and fiscal discipline from Washington."