Budget and Spending
Out-of-control spending is one of the most significant threats to American prosperity. For too long, lawmakers from both parties have been irresponsible with your tax dollars, amassing a national debt rapidly approaching $20 trillion. Under President Obama alone, the debt has increased by more than 50 percent. As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office explains, “… large budget deficits and growing debt would reduce national saving, leading to higher interest rates, more borrowing from abroad, and less domestic investment—which in turn would lower the growth of incomes in the United States.”
As part of the House’s effort to cut spending and reduce the debt, I was proud to support S. 365, the Budget Control Act, in the 112th Congress. This law established a frame for spending cuts of $2.1 trillion and has begun to slow the explosive growth of spending.
We must act now to ensure that our children and grandchildren do not inherit a mountain of debt and an America that is less free and prosperous because of our mandatory spending obligations. We must take a closer look at where we are spending taxpayer money and reevaluate what is a mandatory spending obligation to bring the ever increasing national debt and deficit down from its current levels today.
I look forward to working with the Trump administration to get our fiscal house back in order and not mortgage the financial futures of our children and grandchildren.
Balanced Budget Amendment
In addition to supporting fiscally responsible budgets, I strongly believe that we must add a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That’s why I am a cosponsor of H.J.Res. 2, which would prohibit spending from exceeding revenues unless three-fifths of both the House and the Senate vote otherwise. I voted for this Constitutional amendment in the 112th Congress but, unfortunately, it did not receive the necessary two-thirds to pass the House. Many states, including Tennessee, have balanced-budget requirements. It’s time to make your government in Washington live by the same rules. I will continue to support legislation authorizing a Balanced Budget Amendment so that we can hold the government’s feet to the fire and stop spending more than we have.
No Budget, No Pay Act
I am a cosponsor of the No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 429). This bill is simple, and would withhold the salaries of Members of a house of Congress that has not agreed to a budget resolution for FY2018 by April 15, 2017, as required by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
It is time we get our fiscal house in order and through the passage of this bill, it would force Member of the House and Senate to do their jobs and pass a budget for the following fiscal year.
Budget Reconciliation for FY 2017
I was proud to vote for S.Con.Res. 3, the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Resolution, when it passed the House on January 13, 2017, by a vote of 227 to 198. Most importantly, the budget resolution will allow Congress to use a special procedural tool called reconciliation, which will help us as we work to repeal and replace many of the most harmful and costly provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Reconciliation is a powerful tool because it allows the Senate to approve certain provisions by a majority vote. This is a critical step towards dismantling the Obama administration’s failed policies.