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Congressman Lloyd Smucker

Representing the 16th District of Pennsylvania

Budget

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

Courtesy of the House Budget Committee

Balances in Nine Years

Budget for a Brighter American Future achieves balance through responsible reforms and savings for government programs. The path mapped out in this budget reverses the current trend of growing deficits and debt that will ultimately result in a sovereign debt crisis, and yields surpluses by FY2027.

By achieving $8.1 trillion in deficit reduction over ten years, this budget begins to slow down the unsustainable rate at which debt is growing to less than the American economy's nominal rate of expansion. It does not make careless or sudden cuts to mandatory spending programs, but rather adopts thoughtful reforms to programs driving our debt and deficits. If the nation's current situation remains unchanges, future generations will face unthinkable choices that could cripple our economy and adversely affect every American family.

Through reconciliation instructions for 11 House authorizing committees, this budget achieves at least $302 billion in mandatory savings over the ten-year window, showing a commitment to act now and forestall a debt crisis.

Consistent with levels signed into law in February 2018, this budget sets topline discretionary spending at $1.24 trillion, and increase from $1.132 trillion in last year's budget.

  • $647 billion for defense discretionary spending (up from $621.5 billion last year)
  • $597 billion for non-defense discretionary spending (up from $511 billion last year)

Continues Economic Growth

Budget for a Brighter American Future builds on the success of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, further promoting economic growth and encouraging job creation. It reduces burdensome regulations, such as removing regulations that block the adoption of new pharmaceutical drugs and medical technology.

Encourages Better Government and Greater Accountability

Budget for a Brighter American Future requires good stewardship by Executive Branch agencies of their budgets and encourages the more responsible use of taxpayer dollars. it promotes efficiency and effectiveness, prescribes reforms to sustain vital government programs, identifies and confronts wasteful spending, and strengthens accountability to generate better outcomes for Americans.

Empowers State and Local Governments

Budget for a Brighter American Future respects the constitutional powers grants to state and local governments by the Tenth Amendment. It acknowledges that some reforms are best decided by those distinct governing authorities in order to best serve the unique needs of their own citizens.

To promote more efficient use of taxpayer dollars, this budget seeks to scale back overreach of the federal government and restore power to the states in areas such as health care, welfare, environmental regulation, education, workforce development, and transportation.

Budget Resources

  • Read the budget resolution text here
  • Read a one-page summary here
  • Read a section-by-section breakdown here
  • Read the budget blueprint here
  • Check out more charts and graphs here

Smucker Statement

After the passage of the Budget for a Brighter American Future out of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Smucker released the following statement:

"Washington's reckless spending is failing the American people. They expect Congress to treat their hard-earned tax dollars in a fiscally responsible manner. Congress has to stop kicking the can down the road and saddling future generations with insurmountable debt and severe economic consequences. This budget starts to do just that.

"That is why I am proud of our committee's work to get our nation back on a strong fiscal path. Last year, we passed a budget that would have balanced the federal budget in ten years and was instrumental in enacting comprehensive tax reform that has already revitalized our economy. This year, we're building on that success with the Budget for a Brighter American Future, which continues to promote pro-growth policies that will create new jobs and put more money back in the pockets of hardworking Americans.

"As a former small business owner, I have seen first-hand how expensive federal regulations threaten jobs and hurt small businesses. Our budget also reduces burdensome regulations to encourage job creation and stimulate further economic growth. It balances the budget within nine years and achieves a $142 billion surplus by 2028 - demonstrating a serious commitment by this committee to address our debt crisis. It also ensures that our troops have the resources they need to keep our homeland safe.

"More importantly, our budget resolution gets serious about tackling mandatory spending - the biggest contributor to our national debt - while protecting and preserving Medicare and Social Security for current and future beneficiaries.

"The Budget for a Brighter American Future restores regular order and puts Congress on track to spend within our own means. I want to commend Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack for his tireless work on this budget resolution to restore fiscal sanity to Washington."

Rep. Smucker's Budget Reform Efforts

 

No Budget, No Pay Act (H.R. 1779)

Introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05), the No Budget, No Pay Act would withhold the pay of Members of Congress after October 1, 2017 unless Congress uses regular order to pass a budget resolution and appropriations bills. If a budget resolution and appropriations are passed after the October 1st deadline, the Chairs of the House and Senate Budget and Appropriations Committees would determine if Members of Congress will receive retroactive pay.

“Members of Congress should be held to the same standard as hardworking Americans – if you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid,” said Rep. Smucker. “I am hopeful this legislation will restore regular order to the budget process so we can do what we were all sent here to do.”

“Congress is the only place in America where you get paid for showing up but not doing your work. There shouldn’t be special treatment for Members of Congress,” said Rep. Cooper. “They should live by the same rules as everybody else: do your job and do it on time, or you don’t get paid. It’s that simple.”

Hold Congress Accountable Act (H.R. 1794)

Introduced by Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-05), the Hold Congress Accountable Act would reduce the salary of Members of Congress for the duration of a federal government shutdown. For each day a federal government shutdown is in effect, the annual pay rate for each Member of Congress would be reduced by an amount equal to one day’s worth of pay.

“There is simply no excuse for Congress not to complete one of its most important jobs – funding the federal government,” said Rep. Smucker. “It’s what the American people expect, and more importantly it’s what they deserve. I’m glad to work across the aisle to do my part to ensure we are completing a core function of government.”

“Our number one job in Congress is to pass a budget,” said Rep. Schrader. “There is no partisan issue that takes priority over our constituents, and shutting down the government shouldn’t be a last resort: it should never even be an option. If we’ve learned anything at all in Congress these last few weeks, it’s that strawman legislation goes nowhere and is good for no one. And we are never going to progress on anything if we continue to refuse to put our trivial differences aside and work together for the good of our districts and our country.”

Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act (H.R. 1065)

Introduced by Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06), the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act would reform the budget and appropriations process by extending it from one to two years. The bill directs the budget and appropriations process to take place during non-election years – ensuring Members of Congress have ample time to complete the process. During election years, Congress would evaluate long-term budgetary effects of proposed funding to help eliminate wasteful government spending and programs.

“Passing longer-term spending bills will give Congress more time to focus on other priorities like creating jobs, spurring economic growth, and keeping the American people safe,” said Rep. Smucker. “Too often, Washington’s bitter partisan atmosphere and short-term spending bills lead to a funding crisis. We should not accept this as our status quo. This bill would help get our fiscal house in order and so we can tackle the challenges facing families across Pennsylvania and the nation.”

Letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black

Rep. Smucker today sent a letter to Chairman Black urging a hearing on comprehensive budget process reform. In the letter, Rep. Smucker said:

“As you are aware, a strong budget process is a key start to confronting our country’s significant fiscal challenges and helping lawmakers focus on responsible long-term spending commitments. The committee should begin deliberation on how we can improve the process and reestablish regular order through the passage of an annual budget resolution and 12 appropriations bills. I strongly encourage our committee members to examine potential reforms to the congressional budget process, including: strengthening budget enforcement, increasing transparency for American taxpayers, establishing long-term debt limits, and reforming mandatory spending.

“It is time that we take a critical step towards securing our long-term fiscal path by making congressional budget reform a priority in the 115th Congress.”