Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) voted for a federal budget outline for fiscal years 2014-2023 that brings it into balance over those ten years.
The plan, sponsored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R, Wisconsin-1), cuts wasteful spending, updates the tax code, reforms welfare programs like Medicaid, and strengthens Medicare in order for it to deliver promises into the future.
"Washington needs a dose of fiscal sanity. And bringing the federal budget into balance over ten years will allow the economy to grow," Shimkus said. "As Speaker Boehner pointed out, we have spent more than we take in for 50 of the last 60 years. That has got to stop.
"The Republican budget plan tackles our real spending problems, repairs our safety net programs that protect the poor, addresses the tax code, and responsibly balances our budget.
"The Senate's proposed budget raises taxes $1.5 trillion and seeks another stimulus, never balancing the budget in the process," Shimkus added. "This reminds me of how the State of Illinois has tried -- yet failed -- to balance its budget with a tax hike."
Two Stanford professors published a commentary in Monday's Wall Street Journal that noted, "According to our research, the spending restraint and balanced-budget parts of the House Budget Committee plan would boost the economy immediately. With the Budget Committee's proposed tax reform included, the immediate impact would be even larger." They continue, "Also, by 2023, the publicly held federal debt relative to GDP would decline to 55% from its current high level of 76%."
"That means this plan moves us away from the problems seen in Greece and other European countries, which also have high government dependency, toward fiscal sanity and economic stability," Shimkus stated.
The House passed its budget plan March 21 on a strictly partisan vote of 221-207. The Senate is also expected to pass its budget this week. It is unlikely the two will agree to a joint budget resolution, but a Conference Committee will be established in order to attempt to reach an agreement.
In addition to the ten year budget outline, the House approved the funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2013, which ends September 30. The total spending constraints of sequestration remain in place.
"While no one wants to see furloughs and other cuts, we must start to take the steps necessary to bring our budget into balance," Shimkus noted. "The only solution is to look at our big spending items, which are Social Security and Medicare."
Shimkus' comments on the House floor regarding the budget can be viewed on his YouTube website at youtube.com/repshimkus.