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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BARR. Mr. Chair, for far too long, Washington has failed to take its spending problem and its budgetary responsibilities seriously. That ends now. With our nation's debt exceeding $16.7 trillion and billions more added to the debt every day, I am proud to finally help put our nation on a significantly different, more-prosperous path with my support of this year's House Budget from Chairman PAUL RYAN.

This is a responsible budget that will promote a healthier economy, encourage growth and opportunity for all Americans, help create jobs, and avert a debt crisis. This budget will enable us to avoid austerity measures and painful cuts that are inevitable if we fail to reform the status quo.

This budget balances our nation's finances in ten years, because it's wrong to keep spending money we do not have. This budget cuts wasteful spending and repeals Obamacare. This budget forces the government to live within its means, because it's unfair to leave young people and the next generation with a future of debt and decline. This budget moves us closer to pro-growth tax reform without raising taxes--because families and small businesses should be able to keep more of their hard-earned income instead of having it wasted by Washington bureaucrats.

Importantly, this budget protects and strengthens Medicare for current and future generations of retirees. Last year, I made a promise that I would not support changes to Medicare for people age 55 and older--those born before 1959. Today, I made good on that promise with my support of PAUL RYAN's budget. However, let me be clear: Congress, the President, and the American people cannot again afford to ignore fixing our broken entitlement system this year. The problem with Medicare's looming insolvency gets dramatically worse and more costly each year we delay fixing it, and the current solutions will no longer be sustainable or available if we fail to act this year. If we want to avoid forcing Medicare changes and dramatic cuts for individuals nearing retirement, we need both sides of the aisle to get serious immediately.

This House plan presents a clear vision of what we need to do to balance the budget and foster a healthier economy for today and the future. In fact, according to an analysis conducted by two Stanford economists, the House Budget ``would boost the economy immediately,'' and ``raise gross domestic product by one percentage point in 2014, equivalent to about a $1,500 increase in annual income for each U.S. household.'' Additionally, these economists estimate that ten years from now, ``the entire plan would raise GDP by three percentage points, or more than $4,000 for each U.S. household.''

By contrast, the budgets proposed by Democrat leaders in Congress are full of budget tricks, accounting gimmicks and empty promises. Their budgets ignore the entitlement crisis--the most significant driver of our debt--increase taxes and stimulus spending by trillions of dollars, and never balance--ever.

I ran for Congress because we have a solemn responsibility to pass on a better future to our children, just like our parents did for us. Today, I am pleased that we took a vital step to turn things around and finally put us on a more responsible, prosperous path for the future. But our work and responsibilities continue. The United States can and will remain the greatest country on Earth for generations to come, but it will require a fresh approach to Washington's old ways of doing business.

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