U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, today released the following statement after he introduced the Senate Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2016, which balances the budget in ten years with no tax hikes, protects the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, strengthens America’s national defense, and improves economic growth and opportunity for hardworking families:
“Today we begin the monumental task of confronting our nation’s chronic overspending and exploding debt, which threatens each and every American. Make no mistake, our fiscal outlook is grim and has been ignored for far too long. But we have a profound moral responsibility to help hardworking taxpayers see the true picture of our country's finances. This is also an opportunity to make significant changes in how we do business in order to safeguard the future for our kids and grandkids.
“This balanced budget delivers to hardworking taxpayers a more effective, efficient and accountable government, which supports Americans when it must and gets out of the way when it should. By working together, we can deliver real solutions, real results, and real progress and it is what the American people want and deserve. But first, we must find common ground and cooperate to get things done.”
Senate Budget Resolution:
Balances the Budget in 10 Years
- Balances the budget in 10 years by limiting spending growth, reaches a $3 billion surplus in the tenth year, and achieves $4.4 trillion more in deficit reduction than President Obama’s budget request.
Ensures Flexibility for Funding National Defense
- Makes national defense a priority and provides for the maximum allowable defense funding under current law, including a fiscally responsible path for further spending increases.
- Ensures flexibility in investments in national defense provided the spending is offset over the 10-year window.
- Sets the stage for future legislation that would provide resources in addition to the $5.8 trillion already in the resolution to support our military personnel and their families, the readiness of our Armed Forces, our nuclear forces and their technical base, and the modernization of critical platforms.
Provides Repeal and Replacement of Obamacare
- Repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care-related provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.
Preserves Social Security
- Honors the special off-budget status of Social Security.
- Reduces spending in other areas to fully offset Social Security’s rising deficits and avoid the corresponding increase in publicly held debt.
- Allows the President and congressional leaders to begin a bipartisan, bicameral discussion to protect Social Security, prevent a massive increase in publicly held debt, and avoid the across-the-board Social Security benefit cuts that will occur under current law.
- Balances the budget in order to offset Social Security deficits; and
- Encourages the President and congressional leaders to act to protect Social Security.
Extends Medicare Trust Fund Solvency
- Protects Medicare from insolvency and extends the life of the Medicare trust fund by five years.
- Safeguards America’s seniors by ensuring Medicare savings in the President’s health care law are dedicated to Medicare, instead of more overspending.
- Supports repeal of the Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the group of unelected bureaucrats created in the President’s health care law.
- Supports the total amount of proposed net Medicare savings in the President’s budget as a target, but allows congressional committees to work with beneficiaries and other stakeholders on the best ways to save the system and stave off insolvency.
Improves Medicaid Based on the CHIP Model
- Continues funding for CHIP and creates a new program based on CHIP to serve low-income, working-age, able-bodied adults, and children who are eligible for Medicaid.
- Increases state flexibility in designing benefits and administering its programs, to encourage efficiency and reduce wasteful spending.
- Makes no changes to the funding of acute care services for the low-income elderly and individuals with disabilities.
- Provides stable and predictable funding so long-term services and supports are sustainable for both the federal government and the states.
Supports Stronger Economic Growth
- Boosts Republican jobs initiatives through an economic growth reserve fund for policies which:
- Lower the after-tax costs of investment, savings, and work.
- Reduce the costs to business and individuals from the Internal Revenue Code.
- Reduce the costs of federal regulations, including the costs incurred by individuals in complying with federal law when starting a business.
- Reduce the costs of frivolous lawsuits.
- Create a more competitive financial sector to support economic growth and job creation while enhancing the credit worthiness of lending institutions.
- Improve the ability of policy makers to estimate the economic effects of policy change through the enhanced use of economic models and data in scoring legislation.
Enhances U.S. Energy Security
- Supports increased oil and gas exploration and a robust energy infrastructure that will lower energy cost for consumers.
- Encourages a more sensible approach to managing federal lands, including increased development of natural resources to expand the economy and boost employment.
- Promotes low-cost energy and economic growth to help America’s working families.
- Supports fully funding wildfire-suppression operations and promotes healthy forest management while ending irresponsible and unrealistic budgeting practices.
- Encourages increased timber production from national forests.