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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MULVANEY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, last year at this time I came before this body and I offered as an amendment, as a possible replacement, the budget offered by the President of the United States. It failed overwhelmingly. In fact, I think it failed to receive a single vote.

I did that in order to promote a debate, and I think we had that debate. I think that was healthy.

Remember, a budget is more than just a spending document. It is also a vision document. I had hoped to be able to do the exact same thing this year, to bring forth the President's budget to discuss not only the spending levels in that budget, but also the vision contained in that particular budget. Imagine my surprise then when this week came around and we waited for the President's budget and it was not offered.

It was not offered for the first time in modern history. This is the first time in modern history that a President has failed to offer a budget before the United States House of Representatives took up the topic. It's the very first time since the Budget Act of 1921. I don't know how we're supposed to discuss the President's vision for the Nation as contained in the budget when it's not here. I think that's wrong.

It's required by law, Mr. Chairman. The law requires the President to submit a budget before today. I believe this is now the third or fourth time he's been late during his Presidency. It's inexcusable. It's inexcusable, regardless of the party of the President, not to follow the law and not to offer a budget.

So it's with great regret, Mr. Chairman, I'm not able to offer to you today for discussion before this body the vision for this Nation contained in the President's budget because no such documents exist. I actually tried, by the way. I offered a 34-page document full of question marks, but appropriately that was ruled out of order as not being able to be brought forward to the House. Again, it is with great reluctance I'm not able to offer the President's budget.

Why am I here? I'm here instead to offer as a substitute the budget that passed the Senate Budget Committee last week. It's the first budget to be taken up by the Senate, I believe, in 4 years. I would like to think it's a direct result of the bipartisan action that this body took several weeks ago in passing No Budget, No Pay. The Senate assures us, Mr. Chairman, they were going to do a budget anyway. I took them at their word. And I'm glad that this body was able to pass out No Budget, No Pay in order to give them the additional incentive to do that.

What have they done? What has the Senate offered us? What did the Senate pass out of committee last week on entirely partisan lines? They offered us a budget that increases taxes by $900 billion over the tax window. In fact, that's the smallest amount. That's the amount they admit to. If you take the Senate committee at their word, they also want to undo the sequester and add an additional $100 billion worth of stimulus money, and they want to do that without impacting the deficit. You can safely assume, I believe, that it's $1.5 trillion, not $900 billion, but $1.5 trillion in new taxes out of our colleagues in the Senate on the Democratic committee.

They increased spending by $265 billion over the baseline over the next decade, and they also spend $4.9 trillion more than does the Republican budget that we'll offer later today. Their spending, as offered in their budget, grows by 4.7 percent annually, one of the highest rates of growth other than the last several years in the history of the Nation.

The deficit, according to their budget, in the year 2023, will be $566 billion. In contrast, the budget that we will be offering will be surplus in 2023. It will finally allow us to start paying down the debt; and there are no significant reforms at all in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

How you can have a vision for this country going forward and not at least discuss possible and reasonable reforms to those programs is beyond me, but somehow it passed out of the Senate committee.

Defense is cut by an additional quarter of a trillion dollars over the sequester cuts that we've already had and over the reductions that the Defense Department voluntarily took upon itself during the last budget process.

Now, I've come before this body before, Mr. Chairman, and encouraged this body, in a bipartisan fashion, to look to the Defense Department as possible ways to save money, under the belief that there must be some money in the Defense Department that can be saved in a responsible fashion. What the Senate has done goes so far beyond that that it's hard to fathom--an additional quarter of a trillion dollars in defense spending reductions over the next 10 years.

Finally, perhaps most tellingly and most importantly, the Senate budget never balances--ever. It never balances. What does that say? They have no plan for ever repaying the debt. You cannot repay the debt until we start moving to surplus, and any budget that never goes to surplus never pays down the debt. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you borrow money from people and are never intending to pay it back, you're not borrowing it from them--you're stealing it from them. That's exactly what this budget contemplates: borrowing money and borrowing money with no intention--a stated position of no intention--to ever be able to pay the money back.

I'm glad they did it. I'm glad to think that they did it of their own accord without ``no budget-no pay'' hanging over their heads, and I applaud them for at least taking the first step in the last 4 years to put forth their vision of spending and of what the future of this country should hold. At the same time, I think it's incumbent upon us to have this debate and then to send a very strong message to the Senate that their ideas are not the right ideas for this country. I hope we get a chance to debate this further.

With that, Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. MULVANEY. Mr. Chairman, I'm prepared to close, and I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Chairman, the last time I was at this table and was accused of doing something for a political stunt or a gimmick was for No Budget, No Pay. So I'll take those criticisms because I think we were able to move in the right direction with that particular bill.

I would simply ask my friend if he's more bothered by this political stunt or by the stunt being perpetrated by the President of the United States for not offering a budget. We had time to do one. He had time to do one. The President clearly had time to do one and is intentionally not delivering it to us, and I think that does a disservice to the entire process.

Finally, all of that said, I want to thank my friend from Maryland for reminding us once again that only in Washington, D.C., can a cut never cut, can a freeze never freeze, and a balanced approach to a budget never balance.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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