Senate to Pass Balanced Budget Conference Report Today
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the first balanced budget in over a decade:
“Today, not only will Congress pass a budget for the first time in six years, it will pass a balanced budget for the first time in recent memory.
“This is something many Americans have been waiting a long time to see. It’s something they deserve. And it’s just the latest example of a new Congress that’s back to work — back to work on behalf of Americans who work hard and expect Washington to do the same.
“No budget will ever be perfect, but this is a budget that sensibly addresses the concerns of many different members. It reflects honest compromise from many different members with many different priorities.
“It includes additional resources and flexibility for national defense.
“It reduces spending.
“And it balances, without raising taxes.
“That’s especially impressive when you consider the type of budget the White House proposed: one that never balanced — ever— but still tried to raise taxes by nearly $2 trillion. That White House budget was so unserious that only a single member of the President’s party could be persuaded to publicly support it in the Senate. Perhaps that’s because it proposed to double down on the failed policies of the past: more overspending, more debt, more taxes, and hardly any reform.
“So the White House’s fantasy budget may have made the Left happy. But the new Congress believed the American people deserved better.
“We offered a budget that is more than just balanced — it’s also oriented toward growth. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the budget we’ll approve today contains ideas that could boost jobs and grow our economy.
“It would embrace the energy revolution and provide for more environmentally responsible innovation.
“It would repeal unfair taxes, like those in Obamacare, and set the table for more comprehensive reform of our outdated tax code.
“And because this budget is about embracing the future, it also gives us the tools to leave Obamacare’s broken promises and higher costs where they belong — in the past — in favor of a fresh start, with the opportunity for real health reform.
“This budget is also about protecting the vulnerable. It aims to responsibly improve and modernize programs like Medicare, so they’ll continue to be there when Americans need them. After all, we know that failing to make common-sense improvements to save these types of programs today would mean allowing draconian cuts to fall on the vulnerable in years to come.
“The balanced budget before us went through the normal committee process. Members of both parties debated it vigorously on the floor. They offered more amendments than just about anyone can count. And then, a Conference Committee met to work out the differences between the version of this balanced budget passed by the House, and the one we passed in the Senate.
“That’s the way the process is supposed to work. That’s the way Congress is supposed to function.
“The budget reflects a lot of hard work from a lot of individuals.
“I’d particularly like to recognize Chairman Enzi, his counterpart in the House, Chairman Price, and every member of the Conference Committee for their tireless efforts to agree on a framework that can pass.
“The balanced budget they produced won’t solve every challenge, but it is a measure that will move us further down the path of positive reform. It’s a budget that aims to make government more efficient, more effective, and more accountable to the Middle Class.
“And it’s a reminder that the new Republican majority is getting Congress back to work for the American people.”
Related Issues: Restoring the Senate, Taxes, Budget, Back to Work