Budget and Spending
We need to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington, D.C. The independent Congressional Budget Office has noted several times that our federal spending is unsustainable. I take this issue very seriously and pledge as your Representative to fight to rein in spending, prioritize funding for our military and veterans, eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, and put entitlement programs on a sustainable path forward.
Although Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid alone did not create our country’s debt problem, they are the leading drivers of the ever-growing federal deficit. They represent an astounding two-thirds of the national budget, subsequently crowd out other spending priorities. It is vitally important that we tackle entitlement reform to ensure the fiscal solvency of these programs for future generations.
Congress must take responsibility for its fiscal policy decisions. Too often, meaningful reforms addressing our government’s addiction to spending are pushed to the back burner. I’m working to change that. Rising debt hurts our economy. I want budgets that are fiscally responsible, that gets government out of the way of businesses, families and economic growth. If families across our state have to balance their budgets, the federal government should too. It’s also not fair to our future generations to be burdened reckless spending that takes place now. . I’m committed to responsible budget reforms. Let’s make the budget something we can all be proud of.
Major Budget Legislation
FY 2018 Budget: Building a Better America
I am proud to have worked with President Trump and my colleagues in the House to help pass the House FY 2018 budget. The Building a Better America budget balances the federal budget within 10 years and puts our government back on a path toward fiscal responsibility – and it does so without raising taxes or imposing crippling austerity measures on the American people. The national debt is already an impediment to greater economic growth and prosperity, and it is ultimately a threat to the financial security of future generations. For our government to continue to mortgage the prosperity of future generations to satisfy an addiction to deficit spending is not only fiscally irresponsible – it is morally wrong. That’s why I’m proud to have supported this budget, which significantly reduces spending and reforms government programs to put us on a sustainable fiscal path.
Balancing the Budget
Building a Better America balances the budget within 10 years by cutting spending, reforming government, and stimulating the economy. This budget achieves $6.5 trillion in total deficit reduction over 10 years and produces a $9 billion surplus in fiscal year 2027.
Promoting Economic Growth
For the past eight years, the federal government has stifled economic growth. This budget outlines the steps necessary to reverse this trend, prescribing a combination of pro-growth policies including deficit reduction, spending restraint, comprehensive tax reform, welfare reform, health care reform, and regulatory reform to move our federal government away from its Obama-era addiction to wasting the money you work hard to earn. Together, these significant reforms will promote more robust growth over the longer term.
Ensuring a Strong National Defense
As Representative of Colorado’s 5th Congressional District – a district with one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the United States and numerous active military installations– I understand that defending America’s security is the highest priority of the federal government. To that end, I am proud to support this budget because it has robust funding for troop training, equipment, compensation, and improved readiness.
Restoring the Proper Role of State and Local Governments
Building a Better America encourages the innovation and creativity of state and local governments. It calls for returning significant authority to the states, which possess not only the ability but also the will to reform and modernize programs that serve their citizens. Our Founding Fathers never intended the federal government to impose one-size-fits-all “solutions” to the states – they understood that the states, functioning as laboratories of democracy, not the federal government, are where these reforms should happen.
Reforming Government Programs While Improving Accountability
As your representative, I am well aware that every tax dollar collected by the federal government was taken, not earned, from real people working real jobs in the private sector. That’s why it’s important for Congress to act as responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars – and that’s why at every opportunity Building a Better America reforms government programs and improves accountability, generating better outcomes for Americans.
For additional on the Building a Better America budget:
October 5, 2017 | Press Release
"The GOP has an incredible opportunity this year with a conservative majority to formulate a balanced budget. Finally we can reel back the opportunity and money wasted for eight years during the previous administration. The budget proposal is a responsible plan for keeping our government spending in check. The bottom line is our national defense will be strengthened, we will be on track to balance in ten years, and the economy will boom."
Washington, May 23, 2017 | Press Release
"President Trump’s New Foundation For American Greatness budget proposal includes many positive developments that I am eager to support. Most importantly, the proposal makes a significant down payment on rebuilding America’s military strength. While this proposal only gets us halfway to where we need to be, it is a step in the right direction. I am also pleased to see $2.6 billion allocated for border security construction, improvements, technology, and manpower. Also, this budget proposal balances in 10 years and protects Social Security and Medicare. While it is true that there will be spending reductions tied to significant welfare reform, these changes will come with economic growth that will replace dependence on government assistance with the dignity that comes from work. By making these reforms, welfare benefits will be more effectively targeted toward those Americans the programs are intended to serve.
It’s important to note that this is the beginning of a process. The President proposes spending levels, but the Congress uses its power of the purse to weigh-in with its priorities as well. I would anticipate many changes to come. However, I appreciate the President setting a fiscally responsible benchmark, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to make the tough decisions necessary for the safety and fiscal stability of the American people."
May 3, 2017 | Press Release
"The omnibus spending bill that I voted against today represented a missed opportunity to reverse wasteful spending and move forward with conservative policies. While the bill did include a few good items such as a military pay raise and PILT funding for rural counties, it was flawed. It didn't provide sufficient funding for national defense or border security needs. It provided taxpayer dollars for bailouts of unions and Puerto Rico, and it funded existing elements of Obamacare. Congress and the White House must buckle down, cut spending, promote conservative policies, and keep our promises to the American people."
March 16, 2017 | Press Release
"With this budget, the President is keeping his promises to the American people to shrink the size of government and prioritize our essential national security obligations. I am pleased to see that he is committed to reducing out-of-control government spending and placing us on a path to a more fiscally sustainable future for our nation."
January 31, 2017 | Press Release
“Republicans and the new Administration need to demonstrate that we take our fiscal responsibility seriously. American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done.
That’s why I have reintroduced two pieces of legislation to permanently defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio. CPB received $445 million during Fiscal Year 2016, and this money could be put to better use rebuilding our military and enhancing our national security.”
March 13, 2017
Today, this American life includes a daunting national debt. At the moment I type this sentence, the U.S. national debt has reached a whopping $19,971,916,626,805. That total, divided by the number of taxpayers, means that each individual person filing his or her taxes this April owes a prorated share of $166,775. And with Washington's addiction to spending, the national debt will be even higher by the time you finish this article.
In the here and now, American taxpayers deserve a fiscally responsible government, a system that allows states to do more, and that only allocates money to the most essential programs. There are some things that only the federal government can do — defend our nation from attacks, regulate immigration, and supervise commerce between states. Some money must fund necessary functions such as these.
But government waste doesn't serve anybody. The only path to getting our fiscal habits on point involves cutting non-essential government programs — especially those that can afford to stand on their own two feet.
To that end, I have introduced two bills, H.R. 726 and H.R. 727. These bills withdraw all federal funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as National Public Radio. H.R. 726 and 727 aren't only a game — they are a good first step towards fiscal responsibility. Together, they cut half a billion dollars in federal spending right off the bat.
At first listen, $455 million might not sound like enough money to make a difference in our $19 trillion debt. But I want to remind people that only in Washington, D.C. (or perhaps on Planet Money), is half a billion dollars considered an insignificant amount. The federal government cannot sustainably fund every pop culture happy hour just for fun. We need to return to responsible federal spending to fulfill our constitutional duties to the American people.
This is not about content, because the Corporation for Public Broadcasting supports many quality programs, some of which I watch and enjoy. The point is that the main recipients of CPB funds are fully capable of standing on their own without an added boost from tax revenue. Both NPR and PBS maintain substantial private revenue sources, and the absence of federal funds will not by any means make them disappear. The private sector has the resources to keep the important programs going without imposing a burden on the taxpayer.
In addition, the purpose for federal funding of CPB is no longer relevant, given the advances in technology. The intent of public broadcasting in the first place was to make telecommunications "available to all citizens of the United States" (47 U.S.C. 396).
Today, over 99 percent of Americans own a TV and over 95 percent have access to the Internet. Government-funded distribution of CPB and NPR does not increase their "availability," since nearly all American homes are embedded with the technology to watch these programs at home or stream them online. To continue to subsidize something that is widely available in the private market is unnecessary and unwise.
Because the House passed a version of my legislation to defund NPR in a previous congress, I believe this will be a good starting point on the path to a more balanced budget and reduced national debt. We must tackle other spending even if it means making hard choices. Once we have secured passage of these two bills, ask me another.
What's more, these bills send a strong message to taxpayers that Congress takes their hard-earned dollars seriously. And considering the $70 million added to the national debt since I started typing this article, it's not one moment too soon to cut the invisible from our national budget and get government spending under control.
More on Budget and Spending
Cassandra Sebastian (719) 520-0055
Colorado Springs, Colorado - Rep. Doug Lamborn, Ranking Member of the Readiness Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement regarding the diversion of military construction funds for border security:
Congressman Lamborn has released the following statement in response to the President's Religious Liberty Executive Order:
Congressman Lamborn released the following statement following his introduction of two bills, H.R. 726 and H.R. 727, to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and National Public Radio (NPR):
"Republicans and the new Administration need to demonstrate that we take our fiscal responsibility seriously. American taxpayers do not want their hard-earned dollars funding superfluous government programs just because that is the way things have always been done.
Today, Congressman Doug Lamborn voted in favor of the Continuing Resolution, which funds the government through April 28th, 2017. He released the following statement explaining his vote:
Congressman Lamborn released the following statement after the passage of a Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government:
After sixteen straight hours of in-depth work and negotiation, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act was passed out of the House Armed Services Committee by a near-unanimous vote.
Today, Congressman Doug Lamborn voted for the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act.
"This common sense bill defends the Second Amendment and eliminates red tape preventing Americans from using their public lands for recreational purposes like hunting and fishing. Public lands belong to the American people, not to Washington bureaucrats. The SHARE Act helps tip the balance away from Washington DC and back to the citizens where it belongs."
- Congressman Doug Lamborn
Today, Congressman Lamborn released a statement on President Obama's final budget proposal for fiscal year 2017:
"Each year since becoming president, Barack Obama has released unrealistic and irresponsible budget proposals—and it looks like he saved his worst for last. His $4 trillion proposal requests a $3.4 trillion tax increase that would hurt low-income and middle-class families while never balancing the budget. With the national deficit already topping $19 trillion, you can be sure that this liberal wish list is dead on arrival.