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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. Mr. Chairman, I rise to give support to what is happening for the Path to Prosperity. It is a responsible budget.

And I also rise to encourage my colleagues. It is a good thing for us to come down and get a chance to talk about budgets and where we are headed. It is a good thing to propose multiple options to be able to have this kind of dialogue about where we are headed as a Nation. This is what is happening in the Senate this week as well. For the first time in 4 years, the Senate has an ongoing dialogue about budgets and about the future.

While almost $6 trillion of debt has been added to our children, we have not done a budget between the House and the Senate in almost 4 years now. It is time to be able to do that. I encourage my Senate colleagues as well, and congratulate them for also taking this up.

I do look forward to one day seeing the President's budget. I did see today in the news that the President has released his final four bracket for the NCAA men's basketball bracket, but we have yet to actually see his budget. At some point, we hope to be able to see our national priority be on budgets, not on NCAA brackets, in the days ahead.

The budget that we are proposing focuses on families that need certainty. The way that you budget and you plan for the future and the way to set aside finances for the future is some kind of certainty in what is happening. We don't have that right now as a Nation.

For most families that actually live month to month, they don't have a large amount of resources to set aside for future investment. If a ticking debt bomb is coming for them, they expect the people in Washington to actually pay attention to that so that the little bit of money they can set aside for retirement doesn't blow up in some giant debt crisis in the days ahead.

This is a moment to deal with our debt. The budget that we are proposing is a responsible budget that takes 10 years to slowly start to bring us back into balance. Only in Washington is a drastic draconian cut actually reducing the increase.

What the Ryan budget does, what we are proposing, is a 1.6 percent decrease on the increase. Right now, the Federal budget is scheduled to increase by 5 percent over the next 10 years. We will actually just increase the budget 3.4 percent. I would say that is fairly modest. That is a way to be able to deal with what is happening in the Nation, and it is also a way to deal with what is happening to come in the days ahead.

We are not promoting additional stimulus spending as the budget that is being proposed now is. A giant proposal for additional spending did not help us several years ago. What was promised right now is that we would be at 5 1/2 percent unemployment rather than still hovering near 8 percent unemployment, as we have for so long now.

Jobs do not come from additional Federal spending long term. If you want real jobs, it has to be in the private sector. That is the only thing that can be sustained; otherwise, you are dependent year after year after year with additional taxes and additional spending. We need to have the private sector be engaged in this. The way to do that is to encourage the private sector with some level of stability.


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