Its steps like these which need to be taken for our nation to continue to be a world leader, get our economy back on track, and promote job creation in Southwestern Ohio. Speaker Boehner worked tirelessly to craft a plan that kept our government open, while cutting spending by nearly $40 billion over the next five months. This represents the largest non-defense spending cut in American history and is the first real step towards putting our fiscal house in order. Over the next 10 years it will save hundreds of billions of dollars which would have otherwise been added to our massive federal debt.
I am also heartened by the fact that all of this was accomplished without Defense Department cuts which would strain our military engaged in three wars. In fact, this resolution adds $5 billion to the Defense budget and assures our military leaders can continue making procurement plans without further delays. This is important for both our national security and Southwest Ohio’s economy. By passing this agreement we not only begin to correct the culture of endless spending in Washington, but have set the tone for that debate when we begin crafting a final budget for 2012.
The day after the House passed the bipartisan agreement on government funding for the rest of this fiscal year, we voted on a resolution on 2012’s budget. Put together by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, this resolution serves as a road map for Congressional committees determining the budgets of individual parts of our government. It also takes the first real steps towards getting growing government spending under control. (You can review Paul Ryan’s budget plan here.)
These steps include preserving Medicare for future generations, investing in our nation’s defense, and building on our ongoing effort to trim the size and growth of our government. This resolution is crucial to the much-needed revitalization of our economy and putting Ohioans back to work. Families don’t have the luxury of making budgets without regard to what it means for their finances in the long run, and neither should our government. I’m glad to have joined the House in passing a financially responsible budget for this fiscal year, and the years to come.
At the same time Congress was coming together to find ways to responsibly trim spending, while preserving our national security commitments, our president took a different course. At a speech two days before we voted on a budget, he suggested that we arbitrarily cut defense by $400 billion. While our government must live within its means, we must not sacrifice our national defense in the process. His suggestion of this large a cut also comes without any explanation or study.
Simply cutting our defense budget while we are in the midst of three wars puts at risk a fighting force already stretched thin. It also doesn’t reasonably address the issue of a government which borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends. I look forward to working with Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon to find efficiencies in our Defense Department. Thoughtfully reinvesting these efficiencies and creating a more cost-effective Department of Defense strengthens our national security and saves dollars.