Today, Congressman Howard "Buck" McKeon voted in favor of the Path to Prosperity, the House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014. This budget plan stops spending money Washington doesn't have, balances the budget in ten years and fosters a healthy fiscal environment that will restore the economy and create jobs.
"To budget is to govern, and this plan puts our country on a sustainable fiscal path which will allow our economy to grow, create jobs and save taxpayers their hard earned dollars," said Congressman McKeon. "A real economic recovery cannot be centered around higher taxes and greater borrowed government spending, and our critical safety nets will not survive under the current path of unsustainable growth. This budget puts our country on a path toward prosperity and offers America modernization, reform, growth and opportunity.
"As Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, I am particularly gratified to see this plan provide for our men and women in uniform and our national security by replacing deeply harmful sequestration cuts to our national defense with other common sense reforms. Since 9/11 our military has been operating at a very high operational tempo around the world keeping this country's citizens safe from those who seek to do us harm --from deadly attacks by al-Qaeda to the sabre rattling of Iran and nuclear provocations of North Korea. But back home as our economy slowed and our deficit rose, this Administration began to question our role in the world and called for substantial reductions to our national defense. While we agreed that everything should have been on the table in order to address this Nation's deficit spending, defense has represented only 18% of our national budget, while our military has absorbed 50% of the cuts to date.
"Which is why it is so important today that House Republicans stand unified, both fiscal and national security conservatives, on the goal of replacing arbitrary, automatic across-the-board cuts to our military. This House Republican budget, as does its counterpart from the Republican Study Committee, provides $560.2 billion in defense funding for fiscal year 2014. This is the amount my Committee called for in our views to Chairman Ryan, and an amount consistent with our military responsibilities. Over the next decade, we provide over $6 trillion to fund our nation's defense. While this is significantly less than the levels in previous budget resolutions passed by the House, it is $500 billion more than will be available under sequestration. It allows our military to execute the current national defense strategy and avoids the hollow force and unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk our commanders have warned us about in hearings before our Committee.
"I want to thank Chairman Ryan for his unyielding dedication and belief in this country and in American exceptionalism. Absent his vision and absent this House budget, in just four short years, we will be paying more in interest on our debt than our national security.
"I urge the Senate and the President to come together with this Congress to finally pass a budget for the American people and I also continue to urge them to support Congress's core constitutional responsibility -- to provide for our common defense."
Today, the House also passed a Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown and fund the federal government for the remainder of the full fiscal year. The bill provides funding needed to keep the doors of the government open until the end of the 2013 fiscal year on September 30. The current continuing resolution expires on March 27.
The legislation provides full-year funding levels for five Appropriations bills -- Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Commerce, Justice and Science, and Agriculture -- to support critical law enforcement and national security efforts, protect our nation's borders and food supplies, and make key investments in our nation's agricultural and economic infrastructure.
For other federal departments and agencies, funding levels are continued at the fiscal year 2012 levels. In addition, both the House and the Senate included limited, good-government changes to certain specific programs to prevent waste of taxpayer dollars or to avoid undue damage to important programs.
The funding provided is subject to the President's sequestration order, bringing the total discretionary spending level in the bill to $984 billion.