By Brad Wenstrup
This week, House Republicans introduced a responsible federal budget.
It is a plan to make the cuts and reforms needed to balance our budget in 10 years, which will foster a healthier economy and create jobs. Senate Democrats released their budget this week too, and it provides an opportunity to contrast two very different visions for our future. Rather than cut spending and reform government, the Senate Democrats’ budget never balances – ever. Congress owes the American people a responsible plan for putting our nation back on a sound fiscal path. Republicans intend to deliver on this obligation.
It has been nearly four years since the Democrat-controlled Senate has passed a budget. House Republicans forced them to do so – and to finally engage in an honest debate about spending and debt – by passing the “No Budget, No Pay Act.” This legislation was based on a simple concept: either Congress passes a budget, or nobody in Congress gets a paycheck.
The House then passed legislation necessary to keep the federal government operating and maintain our national defense. Importantly, this bill maintained previous across-the-board spending cuts, bringing the portion of annual spending that Congress controls each year below last year’s level. With an unsustainable national debt of over $16.5 trillion, this is by no means a war-winning victory. But it is an important step toward reversing our alarming spending trajectory, and hopefully the first of many to come.
This bill also reduces funding needed by the Administration to implement Obamacare. I want to fully repeal this law and replace it with health care solutions that work. As a doctor, I know it will undermine our health care system, our economy, and our liberty. The privacy and trusting relationship between doctors and patients is being stripped away by Washington. Additionally, quality care for the American people will become less available rather than more available. That is why one of my first actions as your representative was to co-sponsor H.R. 45, a bill to fully repeal Obamacare. Unfortunately, the president and Democrat-controlled Senate are fighting every day to defend the president’s misnamed “Affordable Care Act.” In the last Congress, conservatives in the House voted to repeal or defund Obamacare thirty times, only to be blocked. That is by no means a reason to give up, but it reminds us that we need to work together every day to build the support necessary to overcome the Senate’s and the president’s support for Obamacare.
As a doctor, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve, and now your representative in Congress, I believe in the idea of service to others. And I know that right now, the Administration and the Democrat-controlled Senate are doing a grave disservice to America’s future generations. They continue to borrow from our children and grandchildren to fund irresponsible spending, without any plan or intent of repaying those debts. That is not only irresponsible; it is immoral.
These challenges are urgent. The crisis caused by our national debt and deficits must be dealt with now. The House is taking the lead, and I will be at the forefront of this effort. We need a Senate and a president who are prepared to join us.
Brad Wenstrup is the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 2nd congressional district.