Bob Goodlatte: A balanced budget for a stronger America

goodlattefourinAn opportunity economy starts with a budget that leads to balance. The House of Representatives sent a strong message just a few days ago that a balanced budget is a top priority. We all know the status quo is not working anymore. That’s why I voted in support of a budget plan that will help build a stronger America by balancing the budget, making real efforts to reduce the deficit, and repealing Obamacare in full.

The House passed budget is definitely not the status quo. Unlike the President’s budget, which would never balance, this budget leads to balance and holds the federal government accountable to the taxpayers. It focuses on strengthening Medicare for seniors and provides for the safety of our nation by making defense a priority. It also embraces the policies I have put forth on tax reform and encourages passage of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

As I have done in the past, I also cast my vote for the tightest, most fiscally responsible budget offered. The Republican Study Committee’s budget alternative would balance in just six years. In addition to supporting a balanced budget amendment, this budget included references to several bills I have introduced, including the RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 703) to repeal the ethanol mandate and H. Res. 26 expressing opposition to the Obama Administration’s college ratings system. It also referred to the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 27) and made a recommendation that the House enact this legislation as part of pro-growth, pro-taxpayer reforms to the tax code. Unfortunately, this budget alternative did not pass.

For those who remain unconvinced that a balanced federal budget is necessary, the question remains: if American families and businesses balance their budgets, why shouldn’t Congress? The United States’ record on spending is no secret. Despite attempts to rein in federal spending, the national debt clock ticks upward each second, surpassing levels of debt our Founders could never have imagined. It was Thomas Jefferson who warned us of the consequences of out-of-control debt when he wrote: “To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.”

Without a budget that balances, there is no end to the spending that will saddle future generations with perpetual debt. Addressing the serious challenges faced by our nation demands bold proposals, and I would encourage the House and Senate to work together to get spending under control now. There is no doubt that Congress must act to rein in federal spending, and enacting a responsible budget like the one passed by the House is a challenge that lawmakers must accept. The budget blueprint passed by the House is just one step forward in ensuring a healthy American economy that encourages job creation now and for generations to come.

Bob Goodlatte represents Virginia’s Sixth District in Congress.

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