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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. HARTZLER. Mr. Chairman, thank you for your efforts to lead us to a Path to Prosperity. When I'm home in Missouri in the Fourth District, I hear people say things like:

I have to balance my budget, how come Washington doesn't?

And: It's time for our government to live within its means.

And they might say: At home, we're having to tighten our belts; Washington should, too.

Well, I have good news: I agree, and this budget reflects those concerns and those priorities.

As a member of the Budget Committee, I'm proud to support a responsible budget that promotes economic growth while reducing wasteful spending. Currently, the Federal Government borrows 36 cents out of every dollar that it spends, and that puts us at an astonishing $16 trillion in debt. This creates anxiety and uncertainty at a time when unemployment is at 8 percent and a lot of families are hurting. We must end the government's reckless borrow, tax, and spend policies. Our budget balances in 10 years, and we do it without ever increasing taxes.

Senate Democrats released a budget that actually increases taxes by $1 trillion, and never, ever balances. This is worst than the status quo. Washington must stop spending money it doesn't have. We must target the real problem this country faces, and that's uncontrollable spending. Instead of continuously taxing hardworking Americans more, we must pursue meaningful reforms and pro-growth initiatives. Our budget does that.

The keys to this budget are growth initiatives to create jobs and proactive steps to preserve and protect Medicare and Medicaid for the future. Colleagues across the aisle like to claim that this is a voucher system, which is false. The Path to Prosperity reforms Medicare for future beneficiaries by offering them the same kind of health care as current Federal workers and Members of Congress. Future seniors are provided guaranteed issue health coverage where no one will be denied coverage based on health status or preexisting conditions. They will be able to choose from a wide range of options, one of which will include traditional Medicare, if they choose to do that. The government will pay all or part of their premium.

Our updated Medicare plan would also give substantial help to the poor, who would qualify for greater premium relief than the wealthy. This will save the program from bankruptcy while fulfilling our commitment to health care security for seniors. The Democrat plan is to kick the can down the road and jeopardize this important program for our seniors. Our plan is right for senior citizens, and it's right for our future.

Additionally, we take steps to preserve Medicaid, and we send it back to the States in the form of a block grant to allow local and State control over this very important program to provide flexibility to help low-income individuals, rather than forcing States to fit into one-size-fits-all programs. It's important that we get people back to work, and our budget does that as well by consolidating and enhancing job-training programs and endorsing pro-growth tax reform.

The CHAIR. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentlewoman.

Mrs. HARTZLER. But one of the best parts is it gets our priorities right, and it provides for the common defense. There are only a few things that we should be doing here, and it provides that. It replaces and repeals the President's sequester and makes sure that our men and women in uniform have what they need.

So I encourage my colleagues to support this bill that gets our economy growing, has our priorities right, protects and preserves those programs for our seniors, and provides for the common defense.


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