Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on several budgets including various alternatives. There are two budgets that LLPH will be watching closely, and we will score them as one vote.
The first budget is the RSC Budget. LLPH will urge members to vote YES on the budget, even though there are a few weaknesses in it. But first, let us explain the strengths: The budget definitely balances and it does so in 6 years (not 10 like the House Republican Budget). It does the following:
Reforms and Reduces Washington’s Spending. The Blueprint cuts spending by $7.1 trillion relative to current policy over the 10 year budget window. The budget sets total FY 2016 discretionary spending at $975 billion, with non-defense discretionary reduced to $405 billion for the fiscal year and reduced by a total of $1.3 trillion by FY 2025. Unnecessary mandatory spending, outside of key safety net programs, will be reduced by $1.7 trillion between FY 2016 and FY 2025.
Repeals and Replaces Obamacare. The Blueprint fully repeals Obamacare through the reconciliation process. It replaces the president’s unpopular health care law with the RSC’s American Health Care Reform Act, a patient-centered solution that lowers costs, increases access to affordable health care and puts individuals back in charge of their healthcare decisions.
Strengthens America’s Safety Net Programs. The Blueprint offers common-sense reforms to strengthen America’s safety net programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Disability Insurance and Social Security. By making changes that will restore these programs to solvency, we can ensure that they are there not only for current recipients, but for future generations.
The RSC Budget eliminates numerous wasteful programs including but not limited to: the Food Market and Local Food Promotion Program, the Biomass Crop Assistance Program ($109 million over 10 years), the Foreign Market Development Program ($316 million over 10 years), the Market Access Program ($1.9 billion over 10 years), the Essential Air Services program, the Legal Services Corporation and many more agencies. It returns transportation funding to the states, promotes internet freedom, audits the federal reserve, and many more conservative solutions. Read the full document here.
The downside to the RSC Budget is that it increases defense spending to $570 billion base budget in FY 2016 compared to $523 billion of the House Republican Budget.
All that being said, LLPH will urge a YES vote on the RSC Budget, since it is the most conservative and if passed would set our country on the right path. It received an A- by Freedomworks. This will count as 60% of the budget score in our scorecard.
The second budget we will be watching is the Price Budget with increases in Overseas Contingency Fund spending. Here is the summary:
The amendment increases new budget authority for the Overseas Contingency Operations/Global War on Terrorism function (Function 970) by $2 billion, from $94 billion to $96 billion in Fiscal Year 2016. The amendment increases the outlay amounts for OCO over the period of Fiscal Years 2016 to 2025. As a consequence of the increase in OCO/GWOT, conforming increases are made in total budget authority and outlays, deficits, interest, debt subject to limit, and debt held by the public. Even with the increase in overall budget and outlays, the budget resolution remains in balance in Fiscal Year 2024 and thereafter.
All Republicans agree that national defense is a key function of the federal government and is truly constitutional. However, spending more money on our military does not make us stronger nor more powerful. Just like the state of our nation is not determined by how much we spending on social welfare programs, the state of our military should not be determined by how much we spend on defense programs.
W. James Antle III wrote a paper a few days ago where he recalls Former Senator and leading fiscal conservative Tom Coburn (R-OK) calling the Defense Department the “Department of Everything.” Coburn stated, “Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies,” he wrote in one of his famous compilations of government waste. “Spending more on grocery stores than guns doesn’t make any sense.”
LLPH urges members to vote NO on the Price Budget substitute with defense increases that are not offset. Perfect scores will receive a recorded score of 200%.