WASHINGTON – Incoming House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan issued the following statement in response to concerns raised by House Democrats that the unsustainable spending spree will not continue:
“The Federal government’s deep fiscal hole is the result of bipartisan failures over the years. Yet this past year, House Democrats oversaw an unprecedented breakdown in the budget process. After an explosion in spending and two consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits, House Democrats failed to even propose a budget for the current fiscal year -- the first time this has happened since 1974, when the modern congressional budget process was established.
“The Democrats compounded this budget failure when they also failed to enact a single spending bill for the current fiscal year -- instead, they passed a temporary spending measure that will not get us through the year -- it expires in early March.
“It now falls to the 112th Congress to develop a budget for the U.S. government, yet there is currently no budget enforcement mechanism to account for taxpayer dollars. Without a budget, the Federal government will continue to operate with no priorities and no restraints, while our fiscal and economic challenges continue to mount.
“The proposed House Rules package includes a number of interim budget measures until Congress adopts a budget for the Federal government. The proposal would give the Chairman of the Budget Committee the authority to file temporary enforceable budget limits. This authority has been granted in the past. The House granted this same authority to the House Budget Committee Chairman in the late 1990s.
“Congress bases its budget levels on Congressional Budget Office estimates and projections. We will not get CBO’s revised baseline projections until the end of January. When we get those projections, as outlined in the House Republicans’ Pledge to America, I plan to file a discretionary spending limit that would take non-security spending back to its pre-bailout, pre-stimulus spending levels. Other Federal spending and revenue levels will be established as outlined in the Congressional Budget Office’s forthcoming baseline, with the adjustments provided in the Rules package to prevent taxes from rising and to make possible a repeal of the costly health care overhaul.
“Voters in November soundly rejected the relentless spending and fiscal malpractice of the past Congress. Getting a grip on this year's spending is only the first step in addressing our long term budget challenges -- but it's a step we must take, and we must take it now."