By Lynn Westmoreland
This afternoon, the House passed H.R. 933, a continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the federal government through the end of the 2013 fiscal year, September 30th. It included the flexibility requested by the Pentagon so they could more easily handle the cuts under sequestration.
I know there are many of you out there who are frustrated with the pace of budget cuts in Washington. While it isn't nearly as much as I would like, under sequestration we have cut federal spending $85 billion this year. This is on top of the cut we have made over the last two years since taking back the House in 2011. Each year that we make cuts, we are lowering the overall baseline of federal spending, making it easier and easier to cut more and more spending. As we all learned as children in the Tortoise and the Hare, slow and steady wins the race. I know it can be a frustrating process, but I want to reassure you that your patience will be rewarded when we submit our budget for FY2014 in a few weeks.
There has also been some confusion about the funding of ObamaCare in the continuing resolution. The CR does not contain any new funding for ObamaCare nor is there any dedicated funding stream specifically for ObamaCare in the bill. On top of that, the CR contains $1 billion less in funding for ObamaCare than President Obama asked for. This reduction will make it very difficult for the agencies responsible for ObamaCare to implement it during this fiscal year. Because of this, a large majority of House Democrats refused to support the continuing resolution -- specifically because it delays the implementation of ObamaCare.
Let me say that I strongly oppose ObamaCare and will continue to fight to fully repeal this destructive law. In fact, I am currently a cosponsor of both bills in the House that fully repeal ObamaCare and am a cosponsor of several other bills that would defund and delay ObamaCare. In the last Congress, I voted more than 30 times to repeal, defund, or delay ObamaCare.
I want to reassure you all that our fiscal fight is far from over. Like I said earlier, within the next two weeks, House Republicans will submit our FY2014 budget. It will include a full repeal of ObamaCare, will put us on a path of fiscal responsibility that will balance our budget within ten years, and will reform our tax code. This will be our vehicle to push for greater spending cuts. In addition, because of the No Budget, No Pay bill that House Republicans passed earlier this year, Senate Democrats are forced to submit their own budget -- something they haven't done in almost four years. This means we will actually get to see Congressional Democrats' spending priorities and the American people can compare and contrast our bill with theirs, setting up an actual debate on these issues.