Today, the House passed a plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years through responsible entitlement reform and reductions in mandatory spending. It does so by reducing spending $4.6 trillion over the next decade.
It is essential that we begin to take the necessary steps to reduce spending and debt. This budget makes commonsense reforms to mandatory spending programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which make up more than 60 percent of federal spending.
However, no one age 55 or older will see any changes to their Medicare benefits. The Republican plan makes the program solvent for future generations by offering beneficiaries a choice between private plans or the traditional fee-for-service option on a new Medicare exchange starting in 2024. Along with Medicare, spending on Medicaid is also reduced using commonsense solutions.
The federal government currently pays 57 cents of every dollar spent on Medicaid. This encourages the states to expand Medicaid coverage during good financial times, but during recessions, it does not provide an incentive for them to reduce spending on the program. Additionally, states have to comply with federal rules in order to receive the federal reimbursement, which prevents states from being able to develop innovative coverage options that can be tailored to the needs of the states' citizens.
To help rein in massive Medicaid funding increases, the House Budget converts the federal share of spending into block grants determined by population growth and inflation to give the states more flexibility. This reform will save this critical safety net for our nation's most vulnerable, while making the program more sustainable.
The current path of federal spending leads to unsustainable debt
Along with the reforms mentioned above, the budget also repeals the President's new health care law and calls for patient-centered approaches to our nation's rising health care costs. The health care law was a mistake, and that is why I have voted more than 30 times to repeal, defund, and dismantle it. However, the closer we get to implementation, the more we learn about the additional costs and burden it will create on everyone.
There are many additional reforms to other mandatory and discretionary spending programs that will help bring our fiscal house in order. Our tax code has become too complex and is in desperate need of an overhaul. In addition to balancing the federal budget within ten years, the budget moves toward a simpler, flatter, and fairer tax code.
The House Budget consolidates all tax brackets into two, lowering the top individual tax rate to 25 percent and setting the other bracket at 10 percent. The budget also paves the way for lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and transitioning the tax code to become more internationally competitive.
Although there is still much to do to achieve overall tax reform, I believe pushing for the reforms in the House Budget will give American businesses and individuals the simpler, fairer, and flatter tax code that they deserve.
The House Republic Budget balances the budget by 2023
It is important to remember the while Republicans still control the House, Democrats control the Senate and White House. This means that I will not be able to get everything I want in a final budget, but I am not going to stop pushing.
The President still has yet to submit a budget, and he and the Democrat Leadership in the Senate have said they have no intention of balancing the budget. In fact, the Senate Democrat budget actually raises spending and calls for an additional $1.2 trillion in new taxes. The House will continue its work to bring some fiscal sanity and responsibility to the federal government.
We must make serious reforms to and reductions in federal spending in order to grow the American economy and provide our children the same kind of opportunities that we had. We owe our children and grandchildren a future unburdened by unsustainable debt. We owe them the same opportunity at the American Dream that we have had during our lifetime.
I encourage you to read more about the House Republican Budget by visiting the House Budget Committee webpage here: http://budget.house.gov/
I am interested in your feedback and your suggestions on any issue that matters to you. I hope you will contact me with your opinion via phone, email, letter, website, or Facebook.
As always, I appreciate hearing from you.