The reason the controlling political party in Congress produces a budget for the federal government every spring is to lay out their priorities for the next ten years, to set spending levels for the numerous federal agencies, and to share those numbers and ideas with the American people. As a sitting Member of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, I can attest that when Republicans were in the majority, we produced a budget every year (and we continue to do so in the Minority). Nancy Pelosi consistently blasted us on the importance of producing a budget and then attacked every aspect of our budget proposal upon its unveiling. The irony is however, that since she and her liberal mob majority took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, they have yet to produce a single budget. They actually haven’t even bothered to attempt drafting one. Her notorious saying, “show me your budget, show me your values” apparently doesn’t apply to Washington Democrats. Speaker Pelosi is unquestionably failing to show the American people what issues her majority wants to champion either because she would rather continue wasting time on her latest investigation attempt or because she is too embarrassed to put pen to paper on outlandish spending proposals like the Green New Deal.
President Trump, on the other hand, has no problem showing the country his funding priorities. Just this week, he set forth his budget request for the upcoming year, which outlines the values he’s fighting for on behalf of the American people. The highlights clearly communicate and build on the priorities that we have made so much progress on over the last three years. Expanding on the largest pay increase in a decade for our troops, the budget he proposed makes the lives of veterans and their families better by ensuring they have the best care when they return. The President remains committed to ensuring everyone has a chance at the American Dream, so he has mandated work or job training requirements on welfare to provide a pathway to work and out of generational poverty. And, unlike his previous successors who have failed to address the issues at our southern border, President Trump is dedicating the necessary resources to get it done—building a wall, putting more boots on the ground, and securing our ports of entry.
One of the first pieces of legislation I filed in Congress was requiring the federal government to produce a balanced budget. The President’s proposal puts the United States on the path to a balanced budget. In fact, his budget reduces the deficit by $4.6 trillion. The President’s proposal is filled with common-sense solutions: shrinking the size of the federal government, ending wasteful spending, and continuing to reduce the regulatory burdens on American families. He is targeting cuts towards bloated bureaucracies and intrusive federal agencies, including a 26% cut to the EPA, which would lessen the reach federal bureaucrats have onto the land of Missouri’s farmers and ranchers.
While the President is making these tough decisions to restore fiscal responsibility, Democrats in Washington are bashing the President’s plan but providing no clear direction on their own spending priorities. One reason they haven’t produced a budget is that they cannot agree as a party on their priorities. But I think the honest and much more disappointing reason, is that they don’t want to show the American People the policies they support, or the soul-crushing taxes they’d levee on middle-class families. Speaker Pelosi and her radical majority have introduced policy proposals that would authorize government spending at a rate unheard of and which would add more debt over the next few years on the backs of future generations than in our country’s previous 240 plus years combined.
Take the Green New Deal as an example. This policy alone would require upwards of an absurd 91 trillion dollars in new spending. Then add that the Left has also called for government-run health care that would tack on an additional 30 trillion dollars annually. You could take every single penny from every single American and still not be able to cover the 120 trillion-dollar cost of these two ideas. For obvious reasons, they have no interest in running those numbers by the American People. Instead, they pass last-minute spending bills in the dead of night and refuse to put what they stand for on paper. For too long, the swamp in Washington has thrown our kids’, grandkids’ and great-grandkids’ futures down the drain because they have been unwilling to simply follow a budget. That has to change.
If a budget is a reflection of your values, then President Trump deserves none of the blistering criticism that House Democrats leveled against him this past week. The values he showed are a commitment to balancing our budget while supporting our veterans and securing our borders. It’s the Democrats in Washington who deserve a reprimanding—a strong one—because of their failure to produce their own budget. Perhaps it’s time for the Speaker to do her job.
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith is the area’s state representative for the 8th Congressional District.