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tv   Senate Budget Committee Considers 2020 Buget Resolution  CSPAN  March 28, 2019 6:13pm-8:01pm EDT

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>> yesterday the senate budget committee began the two day consideration of the 2020 budget resolution proposed by the committee chair. up next on c-span three, opening statements from the committee meeting. >> i called to order the markup of the committee technically this is opening statements that we will do today and the opening >> i upcalled to order this markup of the senate budget committee. technically, this is opening statements that we will do today and the actual markup will happen tomorrow. but it is still called a markup. good afternoon and welcome to the first day of the senate budget committee markup of the fiscal year 2020 budget resolution which is focused on strengthening america's future. this budget represents an important first step toward addressing our country's fiscal challenges. i believe failure to address these challenges now before they become a crises will only
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leave our children and grandchildren to deal with the burdens we neglected to fix or in some cases, caused. before we begin, it is important to note that this is the second budget resolution considered under rules that were updated by last congress to make committee consideration of the budget resolution more orderly, more transparent and hopefully more deliberative. we release to the chairman's mark last friday, five days ago, in order to provide senators with time to read and understand the resolution. i am hopeful that we can continue to build upon these reforms when the committee turns the spring to improving the federal budget process. the fiscal year 2020 budget blueprint we are focused on proposes reasonable and incremental steps to reduce the deficit over the next five years. it recognizes that many of the more aspirational budgets of the past give little to control the explosive growth with federal spending. aspirational budgets were
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waived. usually within 40 days. let's see if we can get the realistic approach through conference with the house. i understand there is significant interest in how the budget handles discretionary spending caps for fiscal year 2020 and 2021 imposed by the budget control act. as required by law, the resolution adheres to the budget caps. it acknowledges however the likelihood that an agreement will be reached to raise those caps and includes an adjustment authority to accommodate such an agreement should one be reached. the budget proposes $538 billion in total deficit reduction over five years. it focuses on slowing the growth of mandatory spending and reforming programs to maximize taxpayer resources. the resolution reflects the belief that all committees should examine the spending
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portfolios to right sized programs, to curb autopilot spending and to make common sense adjustment to the finances, to ensure accountability for health taxpayer dollars are spent. to that end, the budget includes reconciliation instructions with committees directing them to find at least $94 billion and deficit reduction over the next five years. i know this budget won't solve all of our problems and i don't pretend it will. it provides a pathway however for us to begin working together to achieve real deficit reduction. my hope is that it will mark the beginning of a serious conversation on issues that congress, for too long, has been content to ignore. we must think critically about the long-term impact of america's ballooning debt and deficits on our national security, our economic prosperity and our ability to care for our most vulnerable citizens and the country we will leave to future
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generations. we must chart a responsible path forward. but let's start with where we are. as i mentioned at nearly every hearing, the gross debt of the united states of america stands at $22 trillion. without adjustments, the congressional budget office projects we will return to deficit in excess of $1 trillion by 2022, establishing a new norm. lawmakers have known this day was coming for a long time. our nation faces a fiscal storm, largely driven by demographics. as baby boomers retire and life expectancy increases, spending and medicare and social security also increase. while this budget would not cut either of these vital programs, we must work together on solutions to put these programs on sustainable paths so that americans now and particularly in the future, can rely on them. according to program trustees, the medicare hospital insurance trust fund faces and solvency
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by 2026 as a social security trust fund by 2024. rising healthcare and interest only compounds the fiscal problems. by 2029, nearly 80 cents of every dollar the government spends will be on mandatory programs and interest on the debt. this means there will be fewer resources for programs funded through the annual appropriations process which will have a crowding effects on everything from national defense and veterans funding to federal investments, research and education. while autopilot spending is the most significant contributor to the rising debt and deficits, it is not the only area that needs attention. we must look at how discretionary spending is allocated. we received reports year after year duplicative, fragmented and overlapping programs from the government accountability office. just this month, the congressional budget office reported on the massive amounts
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of spending going to programs that are no longer authorized to receive funds. the amount for fiscal year 2019 , $307 billion. that is just for one year. and it does not count spending that was never authorized from the start. clearly, we have to do better. by constantly ignoring the increasing dire fiscal straits our country is in, our decisions today will be made even tougher tomorrow. again, this budget is only the first step. i hope it is a step we can take together. it is time to chart a more sustainable fiscal path to strengthen america's future. i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record the letter from the transportation construction coalition along with statements from taxpayers for common sense, the committee for responsible federal budget, national taxpayers union foundation, american action forum and others supporting the budget resolution. without objection so ordered.
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today, members will have the opportunity to give opening statements on the resolution and tomorrow we will consider amendments. consistent with passed practices, i asked members to limit opening remarks to six minutes and remind them that there is no penalty for yielding back time or submitting statements for the record. senator sanders. >> thank you very much mr. chairman. let me begin by thanking you for doing what no other previous budget committee chairman has done. for the second time in a row, you and your staff have released your budget resolution five days prior to the market. and i think you and i appreciate that very much. but mr. chairman, that is the end of my complements. the sad truth is that the budget that you released on friday and the trumpet budget that was released a couple of
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weeks ago would be an absolute disaster for the american people. what is remarkable about the senate republican budget, as well as president trump's budget is that it does exactly the opposite of what the american people want. it really is quite amazing. at a time of massive income and wealth and equality, when the three wealthiest families in this country own more wealth than the bottom half of american society, when the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92% of american society, when 46% of all new income is going to the top 1%, the american people want of budget whose priorities reflect the needs of working families and
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not just of the people on top. but unfortunately, what this budget is about is a budget that benefits the wealthy at the expense of ordinary americans. this in fact is a budget that moves our country rapidly in the direction of oligarchy. it constitutes a massive transfer of wealth for working families to the billionaire class. it is the robin hood principal and reverse. it takes from those in need and gives to the people on top who need it the least. mr. chairman, i frankly -- and i mean this sincerely, i do not understand why republicans seem to have such a hatred toward providing healthcare to the american people. today in america, as we all know, 34 million americans have no health insurance. even more are underinsured with high deductibles and high
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copayments. one out of five americans cannot afford the prescription drugs the doctors prescribed. there are estimates that over 30,000 of our fellow americans die every single year because they don't get to a doctor when they should as a result of not having any health insurance. we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to to all people as a right. given that reality, why in god's name would senate republicans want to do exactly the same thing as president trump wants to do which is to repeal the affordable care act, throw 32 million americans off of the health insurance they currently have, take away health insurance coverage from americans 26 years of age and
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younger who are on their parents health insurance plan and end the subsidies for low to moderate income americans who are on health insurance exchanges, substantially increase health insurance premiums for older workers and raise prescription drugs for senior citizens? why would you want to do that? why do you want to caused so much pain for the american people? i honestly do not get it. further and importantly, when republicans propose to end the affordable care act, repeal the affordable care act, they are eliminating protection for pre- existing conditions. that means that if somebody today has diabetes, cancer, heart illness, asthma and tries to get private health insurance, what the republicans are proposing will either greatly increase the premiums
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that that individual has to pay or literally make it impossible for that person to get any health insurance. you tell me. and i want you to think about it. how much would a private health insurance companies charge a 55- year-old man or woman in the midst of cancer treatment which involves chemotherapy and radiation? you tell me mr. chairman how many working-class families will simply not be able to pay that cost. and let us be brutally honest. how many people will die as a result. somebody has cancer. they are a working-class person. they have all kinds of expensive treatment. they go into an insurance company. do you think or does anyone here think that that person will be able to afford that insurance? the chairman over and over again during his campaign for president, donald trump promised the american people he would not cut medicare, medicaid or social security. on may 7, 2015, trump tweeted
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and i quote "i was the first and only potential gop candidate to say there will be no cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid." that is what trump said during his campaign. unfortunately, he lied as he often does. his budget proposes a $1.5 trillion cut to medicaid, $845 billion cut to medicare and a $25 billion cut to social security over a 10 year period. the republican senate budget we are looking at today does not go as far as trump did in his disastrous budget. and i acknowledge that. but it would also cause incalculable harm to tens of millions of americans. like trump, the republicans eliminate the affordable care hacked with all the horrible ramifications that would bring about. in addition, they would cut medicaid by $223 billion over five years. trump was a 10 year budget.
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this is a five year budget. they would cut medicare by $77 billion over the next five years. in america today, medicaid, let us not forget, pays for more than two thirds of all of the nursing home care and our country. what happens to seniors with alzheimer's and other serious illnesses who have the nursing home coverage paid for by medicaid if we are to make disastrous cuts to that program? it is not just seniors. today medicaid covers millions of children with special needs. we are the only major country not to guarantee healthcare to all. and this budget would throw tens of thousands of children with special needs off the health insurance that they have. further, just like trump's budget, the republican senate budget will make it harder for our children to get a decent education, harder to protect the air that we breathe and the water we drink and harder for the elderly to live out their
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retirement years with dignity and respect. if you are a working-class student trying to figure out how you can possibly afford college, this budget is going to make it much harder. if you are a low income pregnant woman, you may no longer receive the nutrition assistance that you and your newborn baby need because the republican budget would make about $4.6 billion in cuts to the women, infants and children program. if you are a lower income senior citizen, you may no longer be able to keep your home warm because this budget calls for over $3 billion in cuts to the lighting program. furthermore, in the time where millions of americans are paying 40%, or 50% of their income for affordable housing, this budget limits housing assistance for nearly 700,000 families by making a $36 billion cut to the section eight rental assistance program.
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at a time when the cost of childcare has skyrocketed, the republican budget eliminates headstart services for nearly 107 -- 175,000 children. in total, the republican budget would cut more than 1.1 trillion from education, healthcare, affordable housing, childcare, transportation and other programs that working families depend upon. so the bad news is, if you are low income and a working person, this is a terrible budget. there is good news here and i have to acknowledge that. if you are a billionaire or in the top 1%, you should immediately write to the republican leadership and tell them how grateful you are for this budget because it works very well for the people on top. if you are the coke brothers, the third wealthiest family in america, worth over $100 billion, you will continue to receive a billion dollar tax break and if you are another wealthy family, you will do very well. let me conclude mr. chairman by saying, the american people are
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not particularly happy with the work we do in congress. they think this congress works overtime for the rich and the powerful and you know what, they are right. maybe it is time to prepare a budget that works for working families and not just the 1%. thank you. >> i am impressed at what you are able to read into my budget. before i recognize other members for opening statements, i want to briefly go over the process for today and tomorrow. members will be recognized in accordance with committee practice with recognition granted to members present at the beginning in order of seniority and the committee. members arriving after the start will be recognized in the order they arrive. tomorrow morning, we will reconvene at 10:30 a.m. this is really important. and heart 216. not here. at which point, we will begin the consideration of amendments and conclude with the resolution. as has been the practice of
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prior chairs, complete substitutes must be fully offset over the total of the years covered by the resolution. in addition, members must bring 50 copies for the convenience and courtesy of members and staff. amendments that have no effect are not in order under our rules. so since the senate amendments are not permitted to him a budget resolution is considered to be privileged matter, we have consulted on amendments to ensure we do not risk or endanger the privileged status of the resolution. for example, amendments outside the committee jurisdiction or amendments that attempt to amend authorizing statutes will be classified as outside the scope of the market. if the parliamentarian has advised that an amendment would threaten the privilege of the resolution, then i will rule it out of order. with respect to voting, our committee rules do not allow proxies, therefore members must be present when the votes take place in order for their vote to be tallied as has been done and prior markups. i will recognize members to offer and debate amendments in certain blocks of time.
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and then stack the amendments throughout the day. i recognize members schedules will have conflict. i will work with ranking members to find convenient times. our committee rules require that we have 11 members present to vote on reporting the budget resolution and seven members to conduct committee business. and prior years, an agreement has been reached to keep the market moving forward even if there are times fewer than the numbers for amendment. this has worked well in the past. so i ask unanimous consent that for purposes of opening statements, the offering of amendments and the debate on amendments during the market, the requirement considered to be met for the duration of the market. no objections, so ordered. finally, we will continue with opening statements. we intend to file the necessary documents for the committee to print on friday. after the conclusion of the markup, members may submit additional or minority views written views need to be signed and submitted to the
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committee's chief clerk. no later than noon on friday. that is march 29th, 2019. again i will mention that we will start at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow and not in this room but in 216. now it will recognize senator grassley for six minutes. >> thank you chairman. i commend you for putting together a realistic and responsible budget. and of course, there are always competing priorities. and you had to take them into account. it seems to me you made difficult choices and came up with a plan with necessary spending restraints to put us on a path of budget balance. the budget provides a reasonable and realistic path to that balance, which we do in fact need to reach. our debt is unsustainably high and it seems to be growing.
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during the previous administration of president obama, debt held by the public more than doubled. in fact, the total increase was about $8 trillion. we saw deficits well above $1 trillion for four straight years. three of those years were after the recession ended. our deficits and debt have been driven overwhelmingly by unsustainable spending. most of which is mandatory. as i have said before and as the cbo has learned for quite some time now, federal spending is on an unsustainable course. and with all due respect to my colleagues of the other political party, there is not enough revenue available from taxing the so-called rich to fund the existing spending promises.
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let alone to fund an expansion of those promises and new promises. the budget includes provisions that relate to the finance committee which i chair and another member of the committee, senator wyden is a ranking member. the budget includes an instruction for $50 billion of deficit reduction for five years. the finance committee has wide- ranging jurisdiction uncovers programs amounting to trillions of dollars of federal receipts and outlays. deficit reduction will only come with bipartisan cooperation and compromise. that is pretty much a rule that every member of the senate understands. and the finance committee is already underway with bipartisan efforts to try to
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bring federal held spending down by tackling high and confusing drug prices. all in an effort to help the consumers of america. the budget also includes several reserve funds for various purposes. one is the promotion of economic growth and prosperity for american workers. one way to promote growth and to continue to help workers is, as the budget recognizes, extending parts of the tax reform that applies to individual income taxation. in tax reform, we cut tax rates and made the individual taxes even more progressive. and i would love to show somebody the charts that prove that. we reduce the tax burden on lower to middle income taxpayers. and by small businesses. the tax rate cuts doubling of
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the standard deduction and expanded child tax care, give real benefits to hard-working middle-class american workers and families. make no mistake, tax reform is fueling the economy along with the president's efforts towards doing less regulations. i would be remotest in light of the recent catastrophic flooding that hit iowa and our neighbors in nebraska and missouri, not to highlight for my colleagues two amendments that i want to move forward on. one is designed to increase cooperation among various departments, agencies, state governments and disaster response recovery mitigation. another gives focus to flood control for operations on the
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missouri river. disasters are always difficult and almost every senator has to deal with them. sometime during their time in office. sometimes, many times. disaster response can use improvements. once again, chairman, i commend you for your hard work to put together a responsible and reasonable budget to put the country on the proper path to fiscal responsibility. thank you. >> senator murray. >> thank you very much chairman. as former chairman of the committee, i know the job is often thankless and really never easy. so i really do appreciate you putting forth a plan and taking seriously the committee's responsibility to mark up a budget. i know you would like the committee to be more relevant but that will be a real challenge. it is hard to look past the last congress and the decision by senate republicans to weapon eyes the budget process in a
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truly extraordinary manner. first, it was a failed attempt to repeal the aca and then it was the effort to run through a reckless set of tax cuts skewed toward the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations. it was never a pretax between the two budgets rammed through in 2017 without the support of a single democrat or ever about anything other than reconciliation. so it should be eye opening as well to people across the country about a party that claimed to care about deficits and the debt and seemed to forget that as soon as they got into power and added trillions of dollars to the national debt without blinking an eye eye. and it should be insulting how the deficit is baloney because of tax cuts for the rich the republicans are now putting forward pretend budgets that will never pass and then asking workers and middle-class families to pay for those tax cuts for the rich. i will address the chairman's
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remarks that lie before us. i will start by saying that i appreciate the chairman's mark rejecting the president's youths -- a phony economic assumptions as well as some of the gimmicks of recent budget resolutions. and while the market could and should be more, i appreciate that it at least rejects the president's plan for what it rejects actually is a complete lack of plan dealing with the one thing we do need to address in the coming months, raising the caps as part of a forced bipartisan deal. budgets matter. they matter is a statement of our values and priorities and they also matter as a blueprint to show how we plan to govern and solve problems on behalf of our constituents. mr. chairman, while your plan falls short in my opinion, it at least rejects the president's gimmick and in doing so, signals an expectation that congress will work to reach another bipartisan budget agreement and i do applaud that. we do need a cap seal and i am willing to work with anyone from any party who is willing to work with me to get there.
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however, despite the claim that you wanted to have a realistic budget, i think you missed an opportunity to do more. i wish you would have proposed and have the committee debate and vote on specific and realistic paths for defense and non-defense as i had to do in 2013 which then helped me set up the eventual negotiations as chairman within the house budget chairman paul ryan. the 2015 budget had a transparent plan that took care of both the defense and non- defense because that is the right way to approach this. anyone who is on the committee -- who want -- whoever was on the committee in 2015 kennel member the heated debate we had in this room over the plan from democrats for ending sequestration and fully funding defense and non-defense priorities rather than that approach, what we have is some adjustments language for a future deal. given that language, i have filed an amendment to improve
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and align it with the results of the previous bipartisan budget agreement. my amendment will make clear the intent that congress should work to reach another two-year deal on the cap that maintains parity and adjustments between defense and non-defense spending. i also failed to strike -- the title and the instruction to help. mr. chairman, as you are aware, senator alexander and i are in the process of negotiating a bipartisan comprehensive reauthorization of the higher education act that seeks to improve access, affordability, accountability and safety for students and families and we are doing it under regular order. including reconciliation and targeting savings. we may need to reach the bipartisan deal with it does not help us with those negotiations. and fact, it hurts them. i have also address other issues that are critically important to families and communities including providing affordable and high-quality
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childcare and early childhood learning allowing workers access to paid sick days, protecting and advancing women's health, addressing mental health issues including suicide prevention and the opioid crisis and preserving, protecting and strengthening healthcare for individuals and families, which is particularly important as this administration works to sabotage it. i will be offering them and i think taken together, they represent an approach that families and communities want us to take. not cutting hundreds of billions of dollars for medicaid, medicare, the affordable care act and other programs that other families depend on with this budget proposal. we should be investing in the health of our families, and workers, and education and and middle-class priorities. not incentivizing corporations to pay zero or near zero in taxes. i think that is just wrong. so i want to acknowledge again mr. chairman the time that you
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and your staff put into a plan before the committee which is important for this committee to remain relevant. nevertheless, i think it remains a missed opportunity in many ways and i'm hoping we can move past this partisan mark, work together on a true cap seal and get back on track toward budgets that work for us as -- for our families come workers and middle-class. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for your leadership in putting forward a strong solid budget that helps us to move toward dealing with our fiscal crisis in this country. before discussing this specific budget resolution, i would like to respond a little bit to some of the criticisms that have been leveled against you and us for last year's budget and for our efforts to try to resolve the fiscal issues we are facing. there has been some criticism about using reconciliation to pass tax reform. every member of this committee knows that reconciliation is the process by which congress has used to deal with tax
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reform most of the time in the last decade or more. let's take a look at what has happened. according to recent reports from the congressional budget office that compare the january 2017 forecast against its january 2019 forecast, a cumulative increase. and i said increase in projected gdp in our economy over 2017, until 2027, is $7.17 trillion. that is the increase since we have passed the tax reform and has started moving. of that increase, cbo notes that the 2017 tax reform law accounts for more than $2.3 trillion of the increase in our projected economic growth over the next decade. other policy changes enacted in the last congress and the republicans and the leadership on this and the trump administration account for another $1.3 trillion and projected economic growth.
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mr. chairman, it was not that long ago that we were told by everyone that low growth in our economy was the new norm and projections were showing a sub 2% annual growth as far as the eye can see. since the enactment of tax reform, economic growth has averaged 3.1%. and the real benefits are being seen by american families and workers across the spectrum. job creation is up. unemployment is low. wages are rising at the fastest rate in decades. particularly for lower income workers. this good economic news will also provide policymakers with greater flexibility to address other important physical challenges. the cbo estimates that a .1% annual increase in gdp over 10 years would result in $307 billion in deficit reduction. as i indicated, we are already seeing far more than that.
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mr. chairman, i appreciate that this budget proposes additional important steps to address our debt and deficit challenges from the spending side. i particularly appreciate and support your proposal to zero out chips, or changes in mandatory programs. it was exactly 10 years ago that i first raised the issue at the fiscal year 2010 budget resolution market in this committee. for my knowledge, the first time anyone sought to expose and work to eliminate this gimmick. my efforts initially focused on the crime victims fund. for more than three decades, the victims of crime act has been providing critical funds and support to victims, service organizations and direct compensation to victims of crime. these grants come from a fund that is financed not by taxpayer dollars but through fines, forfeitures and penalties collected from those who commit crimes with fund
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resources going to help those who have been victims of all types of crime. the funded state victim assistance grants support direct services such as emergency shelter, crisis intervention and counseling. over 3.7 million victims of all types of crime every year. as of 2018, the fund had a balance of more than $12 billion. starting in to thousand, congress placed an annual cap on how much could be sent out of the fund to support victim evil fluctuations in deposits. support victims of crime. in part, this was done to ensure a stable long-term funding stream to protect against annual fluctuations and deposit. however, the spenders and a number of policymakers in congress also saw this is an opportunity to create a gimmick to allow the government to spring billions more each year on programs unrelated to crime victims by offsetting that a national spending against the voca fund balance that was held
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back in the cabin each year. spent again and again, year after year, with whoever accounting for it. as a result of this gimmick, congress has spent tens of billions of non-taxpayer, non- general fund dollars on unrelated programs at the av expense of victims. my efforts over the years to pay attention to and eliminate this gimmick have generated an increased amount of bipartisan support, just as the problem itself has been a bipartisan problem over the years. progress in fooling learning the gimmick, not just for the crime victims fund, but with regard to all similar chimps, has been gradual, much slower than i would have liked to see. senator tune has done a strong -- and others from both sides have been supportive of this effort. progress has been made. i certainly appreciate your decision, mr. chairman, to propose fully zeroing out all
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terms in this budget. the budget before us will build on the strong economic foundation we built in the last two years, and take important steps on the spending side to move our physical posture in the right direction. i appreciate your leadership mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator wiseman. >> thank you mr. chairman, i share senator tanner's view, with respect it is responsible for you to pursue a budget. colleagues, to me the bottom line is, it is responsible to pursue a budget, but it is irresponsible to propose this budget. i am going to be very specific about why i hate that view. the trump administration and senate republicans are generating an almost inexhaustible supply of horrible healthcare proposals that are harming america's most honorable.
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the seniors, the poor, the disabled, millions of americans who lack clout and political power, these are the very people who get little more than a tiny slice of the nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks, that were laid out in the trump tax bill over our strong opposition. now, with respect to healthcare, the differences between the trump health proposal, and today's senate proposals are minuscule. for example, colleagues both repealed the affordable care act, take away the protection. i was dreaming about when i was director of the great panther. healthcare always used to be for the healthy and wealthy. that is what you had when you could clobber the people with
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pre-existing conditions. and, the affordable care act got rid of that discrimination. now, we have the trump administration. i regret to say, my republican colleagues find a way to bring it back. also when i was director of the gray panthers, we felt so strongly about the nursing home guarantee that was part of medicaid and, that was for another pretty obvious reason. two out of three patients in nursing homes eventually need our medicaid program. that is because, as we all know, colleagues growing older in america costs a lot of money. so, if you had a widower on your corner, for example, who did everything right, never took a vacation, never bought anything extra, they would exhaust all of their savings, and they need medicaid. this budgets puts that at risk. it is going to settle seniors
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with higher prescription drug bills, because it reopens the doughnut hole. and, the list can go on and on, colleagues. but, what we on this side say, is a budget is about choices. it is not about cold facts, figures, and the like. it is about your values and priorities. on the other side of the desk, people said the tax cuts came first. it went disproportionately to the folks at the top. we said we wanted a tax bill that was bipartisan. we find a letter asking that it be bipartisan. we want to be relief targeted to the middle class, because that is how you grow the economy in a sustainable kind of fashion. i also want to say that in addition to the tax cuts favoring the most fortunate over the most vulnerable, it drained resources that are desperately needed to refurbish
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america's roads, bridges, and transportation system. we all know, colleagues, when we go home, we hear from our chambers of commerce, we hear from labor unions, they are all saying can't you people get together and put together a budget that pays for infrastructure. well, senator and z, and senator stabber now, and other colleagues on the finance committee, know that we essentially wanted to do that on the finance committee. we wanted to take a portion of the repatriated money, colleagues, and use it for roads, bridges, and transportation systems. the finance committee, which united democrats and republicans to do that, where did fthat money go, not to infrastructure, or for kissing on the middle class, and went for the tax cuts, and close to $2 trillion was borrowed in addition. so, finally before i close, a word of appreciation on other
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issues to the chair, and particularly senator craig paul on matters important to the west, i am particularly pleased with the secure role schools program, which is a lifeline for hard-hit rule communities. i also support the effort, to single out for special consideration, additional programs that rural america has come to depend on. i am going to be outlining those in my amendment. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator brown? >> thank you mr. chair. i do appreciate we are getting a budget out there, i think it is headed in the right direction. i'm going to take a different approach. this should be the most important committee that is in
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our senate, because it should be the roadmap that we lay out for americans of what we intend to do. the fact is, we have been gravitating towards an unsustainable situation. i want to address with senator sanders, senator murray said, and senator wyden about the particulars with and how we should spend moment money in a moment. regardless of what you want to spend money on, and we are going to have an honest disagreement, i would love to see some explanation of how $1 trillion deficit, soon to become 1,000,000,000,000 1/2, are going to be good for any of us. all i know, in places where budgets count, where you have done payrolls, he would be ending up in bankruptcy court, and you would not be an institution that was getting anything done. we are a terrible example, and we should be setting the best example. we are going to have policy disagreements. it should not be to the whole budget process has become, we
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will agree with what you should spend on domestic, you agree on what you want to do with defense spending. we high-five and walk away with another trillion dollar deficit. never going to work, we are going to be delivering to the american public either a series of calamities, or a major one, that will make this discussion really academic. i want to talk about healthcare. i heard senator sanders say that republicans did not like the word hate, i know what he meant. don't pay attention to healthcare. i do not think that is true. when i ran and got to become a senator, i ran on the basis that if we do not fix healthcare by taking on the industry, by covering pre-existing conditions, coverage, enabling 26-year-olds to stay on a family plan, we are not going to win as conservative. now, do we do it in the context of a federal budget that is
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broke? in the moment, i'm going to explain how you are never going to be able to get income to make it healthy, even though i am not necessarily against that, if it would work. i want to talk about what i think we can all do, and pay attention to. that is esfocused on healthcare not necessarily doing it through government, but holding an industry to accounts, that is largely delivered as this result, of where you do not have enough people covered. you have got costs that are going out of hand year after year. what motivated me to take on the health insurance companies 10 years ago, enough was enough. i am not going to accept that i am lucky it is going up 5-10%. that is ridiculous how do we solve it? i don't think regardless how much you like the federal government, until we get our trajectory healthy, to where we can actually do stuff, and do it sustainably, let's find other ways to approach it.
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i put out healthcare transparency bills, why in the world in the business of healthcare d you are not puttin your prices and cost out there like you do and all other businesses. if we put the responsibility, on the shoulders of the healthcare industry, you could save so much money, not only on government paid for healthcare, but you would make it less expensive for all of us that do it through our businesses, which none of us really want to do, but we do it because it is a fringe benefit we have administered for many years. i asked the phone on the other side of the aisle, regardless of what you want to do, what we want to do through the federal budget, we ought to focus on the one sweet spot i think we can extract savings, and it is getting the healthcare industry, don't sound like a normal republican, i did not run on it.
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i believe you need to cover those three pillars. i believe obama care, the affordable care act was big government. getting together with big healthcare, it was doomed to fail because that generally does not end up with better performance and lower cost. f let's talk about how we challenge the healthcare industry to fix themselves before they do have one business partner, the federal government. i believe that would be an outcome that we would all dislike, because there will be trade-offs with it let's talk about income versus spending. we are structurally spending so much money and, i am looking at models of what you do with raising income, mostly to discuss it. have not found one, the cbo could not come back with anything that really made sense to me i have got others looking into it. you pretty well good avoidance, you get lack of enterprise, and you get so many other reasons
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that won't raise revenue, regardless of how you structure the bracket to get even close to closing our federal deficit. i think we have got to acknowledge that we have got the focus on lowering costs, do it through the healthcare industry primarily, and any other places where we can extract cost, so we can concentrate on the few important things that we need to do here, and one of those would be healthcare. i think if we don't do that, every time we go through it, we would be mulling the process it is a useless exercise, all of the hard work chairman in puts into it goes to waste, and we have got to get down to some basic things, not relying on the pipedream of necessarily higher income, maybe look into see what it can do, tackle healthcare, i think that is the issue that is going to be pleasing to both sides, thank you >> thank you, understood.
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>> thank you mr. chairman. i too want to thank you for the process and your transparency, and a courtesy call in our discussion, probably as a ranking member of the agriculture committee, to indicate the cuts in the bill for mandatory spending for agriculture's, which is the farm bill we just passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote. i appreciate the courtesy, and i know you were not surprised that i was not supportive of that, nor is the chairman of the committee. i very thmuch appreciate the wa that you operate on the committee, even though we have different views. it is fascinating to me to listen to the different views on the economy, and what works for the economy, and what the priorities ought to be. that is why these discussions and debates are so important. the federal budget should reflect our nation's priorities and values. i understand that
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there are differences. i believe that we can find common sense ways to reduce the deficit while maintaining investments and important priorities for american families and communities. i saw this in 1997 coming into the u.s. house. when there was a major effort to balance the budget for the first time in 30 years. decisions were made, focus on the economy. actually, some taxes were raised in order to invest in education, and the economy, and the needs of the middle class. what happened without the budget for the first time in 30 years. i know it can be done, and i n note that it works, if it is not just trickle-down economics, give it all to the top, and hope and pray it will trickle down. i have never seen it trickle down to working men and women in michigan.
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they are still pulling and waiting. what i have seen is when you invest in the middle and put money in people's pockets people in the middle class, has supply and demand, not just trickle down and begin to economy. unfortunately in the last two years, what we are seeing is one more time trickle-down economics, and the public in the senate is a very different view about how to move the economy. one day, unfortunately, i hear about deficits. first i hear deficits don't matter when the tax cut is passed and almost $2 trillion in diaddition to cash when we debated in the finance committee we were told deficit didn't matter. i guess it just depends on what you want to get done, as to whether or not deficits matter or not. unfortunately, as we predicted, the administration, this congress, is now trying to say oh my gosh we have got deficit
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don't pay attention to the fact that we have added, last year, about $2 trillion to the national billion dollars of national debt. now, we have got to cut come back and cut things that are important to middle-class families, and seniors, and children to pay for it. we say again that this budget, this president is asking us to pay for the huge tax giveaways that were given last year to the wealthiest and largest nations, by taking away funding from things that are very important to american families, michigan families, including medicare, medicaid, completely eliminating the affordable care act, and all of the consumer protections, and support for education. this republican budget would cut $77 billion in medicare. that is an attack on seniors.
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this republican budget would cut nearly $223 billion from medicaid. while seniors get their nursing home care through medicaid. half of all babies born in america have their healthcare, and their moms healthcare through medicaid. this really is an attack on seniors, families, and children. this budget would cut $171 billion from education programs including support for afterschool, teacher training, professional development, and now the special olympics, i could not believe the secretary was talking about cutting the special olympics, and that was not that important. budget reflect our priorities, and values. i would suggest strongly that the priority suggested in this budget, and laid out in this budget, and are for the wealthiest and most well-
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connected people in our society, and asking seniors and children, and working families to pick up the task. instead of this budget, the committee should pass a bipartisan budget that values the american people. we can pass the real budget that improves access to healthcare, and makes real investments to drive economic growth. millions of people have received coverage through the affordable care act. yet in this budget, it reflects the position of completely repealing the affordable care act, which president donald trump said he wanted to do again yesterday. i have to just say for the record that the cost of healthcare in the last year has gone up 16 point 6% higher than it otherwise would, according to all the economists, because of the unwinding and the sabotage of the affordable care act.
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so mr. chairman, i will certainly spend time going forward on all of the ways in which the affordable care act helps people in michigan and across the country, and how it has saved money in michigan for taxpayers, because we have fewer people, 50% fewer people walking into emergency rooms without healthcare, now. so, there is actually someone paying the healthcare bill, and that has dropped cost in michigan. i will save that debate for tomorrow, and again, i would very much like to see is putting out something that is bipartisan, and reflects in a better better way, what i know the people of michigan feel is important. thank you mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, i want to thank you for your dedication for trying to develop a budget
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we can pass. when i joined the senate, and this budget committee, there was a deficit of about $14 trillion. everybody was talking about unfunded liabilities of $200 trillion. one of the first things i did on this budget committee was proposed a more understandable way of talking about this massive problem. i proposed a budget window. i thought most people could understand what it is, and how much the dollars and involvement would be. we got that passed as an amendment, now see po provides is a current 30 year projection. we are currently $32 trillion in debt, over the next 30 years, it is projected we will occur $109 trillion in deficits. it is easy to see where that comes from. there is dabout $18 trillion in social security. as we pay out more than we take in the payroll tax, medicare is $30 trillion deficit. that is because every dollar
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americans spend in medicare, they are getting 3 dollars in benefits, which is why people love it so much, but it is unsustainable. the additional model is about $156 trillion in deficit of debt. we do not want to pay our creditors $56 trillion, we should address social security and medicare. on a bipartisan basis, nobody wants to touch that with a 10 foot pole. so, we are just stuck with this structural deficit. on a bipartisan basis, we are ignoring it, it is unfortunate. one thing i found, i am chairman of ithomeland security in our community, there is a host of things that democrats, republicans, even republicans don't agree with each other on. but i try and do as i focus on the areas of agreement. that would be my suggestion moving forward. you can see already, despite the chairman's best efforts, i believe have a budget passed by both chambers reconciled, and become lost. why don't we try to at least accomplish something.
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as chairman of homeland security, focusing on areas of agreement, we have signed into law over the last two congresses almost 100 bills. they have not solved the deficit problem, but they fixed problems. but i would suggest, or what i am wasking my democrat colleagues and republican colleagues to consider is what are some things we can agree on. let's start with healthcare. obama care is the law of the land. we are not successful and repealing and replacing that was something. there is not one republican part of the process who will touch the protection for pre- existing conditions. that is the law of the land, it will stay that way. what we can do is provide the protection without having premiums double, triple, and quadruple. what i propose is, let's fix thathe faulty architecture of obama care, which cost about 5% or 7% of the american population, who had to buy healthcare with after-tax dollars, and were forced to
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admit the full cost or burden of pre-existing condition coverage. the better way of handling that is things with high risk pools. they pass guaranteed issue, premiums skyrocketed. premiums for young people were cut to a third of the level for elderly to have to let's fix the problem maintain the protection for pre-existing conditions, but do it in a way that is financially responsible, and does not call his small size slice of the american population to bear the full burden. i think we all agree, drugs cost too high. part of the problem is abusing the patent system. part of the problem is lack of transparency, let's fix that. i have already started to talk to other members who i think understand these problems, i am
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just asking members of the budget committee, in good faith, let's start addressing some of these areas that have to be fixed. we may be aren't going to be able to solve all of these problems, but there are things we can address, and in good faith work together, and that is what the american people expect of us. i want to address another problem. the dutch have it does have a budgetary impact. it is the crisis of the board. i got a call from commissioner yesterday, it is beyond the breaking point. let me just give you the facts and figures, i have got a chart i have been developing of unaccompanied children, people coming to this country illegally, and apprehended as an accompanying children, or family units. in 2014, there 102,000 individuals under those categories. president obama call that a humanitarian crisis. last year, that number was over 145,000. in almost 6 months, we
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are not quite the six month timeframe, through march 17, more than 200,000, primarily people coming in as family units across the border illegally, or presented themselves at ports of entry without proper documentation, and we are in full catch and release, has completely overwhelmed our system. this is not a made up crisis, it is a crisis at the border. cbp commissioner was asking for help. that is what i am asking colleagues in the other side of the aisle. this is a situation, it is a growing crisis, it is a growing problem. t the more that people come in here and realize want to step foot in america, they basically get to stay, more people are incentivized to do that. there is another area that urgently needs to be addressed. we really do need a good bipartisan effort on that. again mr. chairman, i appreciate your efforts on a budget. >> thank you, senator kane.
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>> thank you mr. chair, i think i will follow the path of folks on my side, and start with compliments, and turn to challenges. on both house, i will be different. on the compliment side, this is my seventh budget, seventh here in the senate. one of the things that has been a continuing realization as a senator is the talent of the 100 senators. along the way, i always see something about a person that makes me say i can see why they got here. it is not easy to get to this place. the people in this body have worked very hard in a variety of ways, and is succeeded with a variety of skills to get here. i also see in my colleagues serving on floor committees, not just that they did good things to get here, but they did good things while they are here. i see with disagreements on many things, areas where people work hard to make things happen. this is a talented group of 100 people, a very talented group. mr. chair, you had a remarkable
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track record on the health committee, for example, when i am on in terms of very tough waters, where there are a lot of disagreements. you together with democrats have produced meaningful deals. that is my compliment. now, let me turn. this is the budget of the united states were talking about. we have more than 20 people in the gallery today, as we are embracing a discussion about the budget of the united states. the issues whether it is deficit, economic growth, healthcare, we are talking about big issues. in the course of seven years, the number of people who have shown in the interest in the work this committee is doing has dwindled, and dwindled, and dwindled. you kind of have to ask the question why, if there are talented people who ithave a track record of producing another committees, what is it about this committee?
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it is not the individuals, but what is it about what this committee has become that would leave fewer than 20 people to attend the opening hearing when we are talking about the budget of the country. i think one of the challenges is an increasing reality. this is largely driven by the leadership of the caucuses, that has turned the budget into a pointless exercise. from what we are hearing, the effort of the chair to do the budget, according to who will do it on time, is going to produce something out of this committee. it is not going to get floor time. if we don't get floor time on the budget, the committee has technically done what it is supposed to do. if it doesn't get floor time, it ends up not meaning anything. we are not -- if there is no floor time, and the passage of a resolution, no top lines will be set. so the authorizing committees like armed services then go to
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work, they don't have meaningful top lines. finally, we all know because of the bca, that ewe have to deal with issues for defense and on defense, we are not likely to come out of this process with anything that deals with that fundamental question, which we have to. so, the exercise is sort of a pointless one. it is ba partisan one. every other committee i am on, their issues that are partisan to be sure, but there is a lot of legislation. senator johnson talked about what comes fout of help, what comes out of armed services, what comes out of foreign relations. we put bills out on the floor that are pipe bipartisan and pass, and they get signed into law by the president. i think in the six years i've been on this committee, i don't think there has been a single example of a budget vote, where there is even one senator, even one who voted with members of the other party on the ultimate passage. on some temperaments, the happen certainly, but i don't think of the ultimate passage.
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i guess what i want to focus on, and then conclude, because i will have some amendments tomorrow, but i will not speak about them now, is that this topic is so important. senator brown, you pointed out this ought to be the most important committee. i was in a seapower subcommittee assessed this morning that had many more attendees at the hearing than this one. i was at a hearing on three nominations for deputy state department positions this morning, that had only four or five times as many people in the galleries. this is the budget of the united states. i hope what we might do is spend a little bit of time thinking about how we might again make this committee what it should be, and have this opening -- where we are drafting and putting our thumbprints on a blueprint for the budget of this country, be something that is meaningful, and investing with some weight and some power. with that mr. chair, thank you. i'll yield a minute back to you. >> thank you. senator whitehouse? >> thank you mr. chairman.
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here we go again. in a bipartisan tradition, we are here on a budget that is a little more of a messaging document for a majority party, to amplify on senator kane's remarks, there are 40 seats in this room, and there are now seven people sitting in them. there is the world's smallest press table over there with the world's most board press corps reporting on the world's most useless hearing. we have gotten ourselves into this pickle on our own. this budget has no hope of passing the house, which makes this year's markup, especially insignificant. tomorrow we will be boating voting on meaningless reserve fund amendments, sort of glorified sense of the senate statements, and then we will have a partyline vote. then the majority will passes resolution, it is groundhog day. it is useless.
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i strongly oppose the policies reflected in the majority's budget. i think they are of disaster and disgrace to be blunt. i am really concerned, as i think all of us should be in a bipartisan fashion about how broken our budget process has become. there is virtually no chance that both chambers will agree to a common budget resolution this year. even if they did, the budget resolution will have little force or effect. the congressional budget does not raise the statutory spending caps. they will need a separate deal on spending caps for the appropriate list to do their work. the budget resolution does not raise the debt limit. i have spoken about the debt limit before. the debt limit is having a bear trap in your bedroom. if you're lucky, you will not step in it. what but with one stupid misstep, you are in for a of an injury. last year, senator purdue and i served on the joint select committee on budget and appropriations process reform.
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he works for nearly a year with 14 bipartisan and bike chairman members on proposal to approve the congressional budget process, and to agive the senat budget committee a more meaningful role. one idea, which did well in that committee, is to establish an optional offramp in this budget committee for a bipartisan budget. create a process so that if we could agree on a bipartisan budget, there is a path for it. we do not even have that. this is partisan, in many respects, by virtue of the rules and habits of this committee. we can fix that. ab we cannot get a good bipartisan budget. the reason we ought to give it a try. we ought to have a mechanism for doing that. so, i'll speak more about that when i relate tomorrow when i do my admin meant to do a deficit neutral reserve fund on the budget process.
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there were congressional politics that interrupted the work of that a joint select committee. but, i am working with senator purdue and michael sponsor, senator blunt, on legislation that i hope will be considered by the city but he committee budget committee to explore a variety of reforms, ddincluding hearing on the joint select committee's work. i want to take a minute and give a congratulation to chairman and see, in addition to being a gracious and kind and good colleague is also a fellow advocate for reform of the budget committee. i think there are lots of ways in which we can work together to try to make this a meaningful exercise again. there is no better signal to this, it does not matter, than the fact that nobody shows up for it, as senator kane pointed out this markup is an exercise in gepolitical messaging, sadly
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we are unfortunately sending out a terrible message about blowing up the national debt was $1.9 trillion in tax cuts, most of which is for very wealthy people, big corporations, and foreign investors. thanks a bunch. now, we are facing the usual talk about deficit reduction through spending cuts, and a tax on medicare and medicaid. the budget protects billions of dollars of tax cuts for the likes of the cook brothers, while calling for 551 billion in cuts to programs for low andn middle income americans. this is like robin hood in reverse, and it is reason to propose this particular budget. let's set all of that aside, because none of it matters in the long run. we can exchange our usual barbs during the week ahead. we also have the prospect of turning this committee into one that does real work. if we are going to do that, what we are going to need to do
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is not just talk about appropriated spending, but talk about tax spending, talk about healthcare spending, and talk about revenues, because you do not even get to your budget arithmetically if you are not looking at those constituent points of it. you have got to figure out what a suitable debt to gdp ratio looks like, a sustainable debt to dpd ratio. we have got to figure out how long it takes to get from where we are to there, and set some alarms, some barriers, to guide us on the path from the unsustainable position we are in now, to a sustainable gdp to debt ratio. i suspect if we did that work, before we got to the sustainable debt to gdp ratio, markets and the world will be happy with us. for once, we would actually take our role here seriously. and working in the arithmetically necessary way to get to a sustainable budget. i think we can do this, mr. chairman.
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you have been a terrific ally in trying to do this, and i look forward to working with you to get this fixed. if not, we can just jettison the stupid committee. >> thank you. i will say that house leadership reached out to me yesterday and i told them i need to talk about caps that limit and reform all at one time. we will see what happens. >> i appreciate your leadership and willingness to pursue this. i think we have real work we can do, and real opportunity to get good bipartisan work done here. you have been fabulous about making that possible, so thank you. >> you are really good to work with when doing our multiple hearings on budget reform, that we need to finish up again. we don't know who will be president or the majority will be, and i think that gives us leeway to work on reasonable solutions. senator scott? >> thank you chairman. b i have only been here a fort
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short period of time. there is all this focus on partisan politics. we all have the opportunity to make some of these changes, but hopefully will give us a better budget, spend our money better, and do the best thing for each of our families. i think the budget resolution is a great start. we know our nation is headed for a significant debt crisis. it is not an opinion, just effect. we have got to get control of federal spending. we are never going to start paying down debt without growing the economy with liquidity photo. i walked into my job as governor with a $4 billion budget deficit. i started cutting taxes the first year. i cut 5000 regulations. i called on companies in our economy group, we grew gdp's and for about 35%. i made about private 4.7 billion
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private sector jobs. we have to do the exact same thing at the federal level. cut cutting spending by itself is not going to do it. if you care about funding medicare, we all do, our military, we had to grow the economy much faster it had than it has ever been grown before. that is what we did in florida, and it allowed us to do everything. cut taxes, make sure we did not raise tuition costs, we got a return on the dollars. we went through the budget to try to get a return. if it was a program, how do we make sure it works. as we did that, the private sector was able to grow. washington had a spending problem for a long time. this budget resolution is a great start, and was raining out-of-control spending. i am proud to introduce several
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amendments to the budget. that priority is important to our state. including taking care of those with pre-existing conditions, supporting our military members and families, and protecting our environment. i grew up in a family that did not health have healthcare, so making sure people have the opportunity to get healthcare when they afford that they can afford was important oto me. i saw firsthand, you saw me on the weather channel lot, we had a lot of hurricanes while i was governor. we worked nonstop to help our families. while our state is resilient, we have to, at the federal level, we have to be a partner with our states. i haven't focused to make sure we treat each of our states fairly, including florida and puerto rico. as governor, we spent over $2 billion restoring the everglades. we worked to fix lake okeechobee.
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president donald trump was a partner of congress in the last two years, and became a partner. i put up state funding, $100 million of state funding. this is a 100% federal project. i want to thank congress for funding that. re i'm going to work hard to make sure that funding is protected. just this year, under the president's budget, they did not put up as much money as they should. the senator and i will work to can stcontinue to restoring the evergladesri. during the shutdown, i met with a lot of members of the coast guard here and in florida. it was completely unfair. they were not getting paid, they did not get a housing allowance. it made it difficult for them to survive. i want to make sure we take care of that. it is very important to me that as we prioritize housing for our basis we make sure we take care of our military family
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members. we have had hearings on that. i know a lot of people are focused on it, but i want to make sure we focus and fund basic infrastructure and housing. on top of that, we have got funding for tyndale that got decimated with hurricane michael. i look forward to working with everybody. when they told me i was going to be on budget, i was excited. if you listen to this today, it makes me less excited about being here. >> i am glad to see this committee is back in action. i am also glad that congress appears to be waking up again to our debt and deficit. unfortunately our nation's physical picture has suffered tremendously the tax legislation that passed in 2017
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has led to a major drop in revenues despite increased spending. it should come as no surprise the deficit grew by 77% since 2019. a 77% increase because of a tax bill. it is frustrating that after a year and a half of ignoring our deficit, only now, my friends across the aisle i'll say it is time to tighten the belt. this is truly in light of the recent government shutdown we are talking about fiscal responsibility, weeks after this president who really held over billions in additional spending he wanted for border security. is the chairman knows, i have spent a good deal of time
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working on these issues, and try to do so in a bipartisan way. i have wrestled with deficit reduction to find the additional revenues. in chairman, i think we will recognize this, with entitlement reform. here is what that lesson has taught me. we will never get our fiscal house in order if we continue the cycle of ignoring physical discipline when it is convenient. only pretend we are all fiscal hawks and obills come due. i would propose is that we have an honest conversation about our priorities and how much they cost. for my democratic colleagues, we are down to two who have been engaged and involved for some time, best recognize that mandatory entitlement spending is expected to grow dramatically, because our population is getting older and people are living longer. if we want programs like social security and medicare, be around for future generations, we need to set them on a sustainable course. to my republican colleagues, left recognize we cannot dramatically boost military
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spending, cut taxes, and leave our two largest mandatory spending programs, social security and medicare untouched. the math does not work. no amount of discretionary cut will allow us to avoid that hard truth. like everyone on this committee , i have my personal priorities for the budget. senator ken and i have filed an amendment addressing many military families and substandard housing conditions. i filed an amendment that will invest in worker training so our workforce is prepared for changing economy. they also have amendments that try to bring down the cost of healthcare. finally payback, provide back pay for those thousands of low- wage federal contractors who are devastated by the government shutdown. i will point out that many of those folks, i think often times when we think about federal contractors, we think about high defense contractors. in the case of the most recent
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shutdown they were not affected. a few blocks from here, the folks who clean the bathrooms and so the food at the smithsonian are still out one 12th of their annual pay. i think they ought to get reimbursed. finally senators kane, and i have fallen amendment, to make sure the $15 billion cut out of his gap does not fall on the backs of literal workers and retirees. senator kane and i have filed an g amendment ensuring retirement security for our federal workers and retirees. some of these amendment i passed, some mmade be defeated let's not pretend we can't afford to address the challenges we see as a nation. discretionary spending accounts for just 20% of the federal budget. yet, this resolution proposes deep cuts that i believe will inevitably harm the most
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vulnerable americans. these cuts will also inevitably shortchange investments that actually strengthen our economy long-term and our competitiveness over the long run. as a former business person, i know folks on the other side of the aisle had that background as well. i would never invest in a company that refuses to acknowledge economic realities, or prioritize short-term political wins over critical investments in the future. i look forward to the michael tomorrow. hopefully making improvements in the resolution. it is my hope that we can set aside the usual lip service responsibility and talk about the tough choices we face. we cannot cut our way to a balanced budget. i believe we have to look at additional revenues, and look at the long-term growth in entitlement spending. it is my hope we can address some of these hard truths in the coming days and begin to get our fiscal house in order. with that mr. chairman, i think you, and get extra credit for yielding back 40 seconds.
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>> thank you, i hope you notice i had room in there for additional revenues. >> that has been a change than previous, i recognize that and appreciate that. >> senator around holland. >> thank you. it is good to be here with you and my colleagues from virginia, and the new senator from indiana. i want to start on a positive note as well, which is i want to thank you atfor rejecting th sham of the local funding. we all know that has been used as a slush fund. i am very hopeful that the senate armed otservices committ will follow your lead on this, and not pretend they have a lot of slush money that you didn't put in the senate budget. second, i agree with you in terms of our ability to find more savings in our healthcare system. it is 18% of gdp. despite that, compared to a lot of our peer countries, we are not getting better quality. so, we should look for savings in the overall system, and that will help our budget.
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we can get more efficiency in medicare, and certainly prescription drug costs, are an area where we should find savings. esther chairman i must say that my colleagues, when i read the headline reduce the deficit, it does ring a little hollow after last year. the tax bill blew a big additional hole in our debt, according to the congressional budget office, it added $1.85 trillion over the next 10 years. if you include interest on that debt, and to focus on that in your paper here, it comes to adding two point $3 trillion to our deficit, all unpaid four. people can agree or disagree with the affordable care act, we paid for the affordable care act. we went back and forth to make sure that was covered tax cuts, 2.3 trillion on the deficit. if we are going to be series of the budget committee and talk about spending, we also have to talk about revenue. i would just remind my colleagues and director hall,
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ahead of cbo has noted this, because of the tax cuts, revenue as a percent of gdp it is now dipped from the mean of 17 point percent of gdp to 16.5%. that 1% may not sound a lot, but that is a lot on our entire economy. if you go back and look at the last times we balanced our budget, it was in 1998 and 2001, where revenues were between 18.8% of gdp, and 20% of gdp. these are real numbers. if we are going to be serious about our deficit, we need to pay attention to real numbers on the budget committee. i would ask my colleagues where did all of that past cut money go? i remember all of the charts on the floor saying everyone was going to get a raise of $4000 a year. it hasn't happened. we have seen $1 trillion plus
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in stock buybacks, which have been great for corporate executives, great for stockholders that overwhelmingly are at the high end. but, that is has been it. we did see what many of those predicted, which was a sugar high. you put that much more money in the economy, you are going to get a sugar high. let's look at what the congressional budget office is staying in terms of their projections going forward, in terms of economic growth. they say this year's report, compared to the robust pace of output growth in 2018, which was 3.1% went l up. a big tax cut. the output road has projected to slow in 2019. they say real gdp will be 2.3% in 2019, and grow by an average, i want my colleagues to listen to this, 1.7% per year from 2020 two 2023. if you go back and you look what cbo projected growth in that time period would be, before the tax cut, it was
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actually 1.9%. now, it is 1.7%. so, it hewas a great sugar high for $2.3 trillion including interest on the debt. now, we have a budget that comes back and says oh, now, this year we are serious about deficits and debt. cutting deeply into important health programs, other social security type programs, cutting funding for the chesapeake bay, i listened to the senator from florida talk about the importance of protecting pothe everglades. and, we are going to, as a bipartisan group, probably reverse those. we need to have a serious conversation on the overall numbers. unfortunately, we cannot seem to get there. i would welcome that opportunity to really look at the revenue side at the same time we talk of the spending side. finally, i have joined with my colleagues from virginia on this issue of federal employees.
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we just went through an outrageous, unnecessary government shutdown, 35 days. created a lot of pain. for a lot of federal contract employees, and these are very low wage people, they still have not been made whole. we are working to try to make them whole. this budget doesn't try esand make them whole, this actually goes after federal employees esther chairman, because we have seen this before, but it is a backdoor pay cut. what this budget does is requie federal employees to contribute more to their pensions without giving them one more penny and pension benefit if this proposal were to pass federal employees paychecks would be less than they are today, because they take on more for their retirement. when it came time for the retirement, not one additional penny, that is a pure pay cut, plain and simple. i think our federal employees
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deserve a elot better. they work hard for the american people every day, whether they are and veterans hospitals, whether they are folks of the border, whether they are folks at the nih or cia, or other parts of government. it is just a slap in the face to suggest they are going to get a pay cut. i welcome the opportunity to get through a series conversation about the overall budget outlook that requires looking and spending, but also revenue. in the short term, i am hoping our colleagues will follow your lead, and not playing games with the oakville slush fund. >>, for your comments. i hope you notice there is room in there for revenues. that is not usually in a republican produced budget. i do wish i would have put out this budget before the president put out his budget. it implies in the regulation we are supposed to wait until we
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get the stuff. the presidents budget is just a list of suggestions. we never follow that i wish that they would just do it in letter form of suggestions, rather than all that paperwork that gets discarded, or maybe recycled, i am not sure. i did notice through the discussion that a bunch of the presidents numbers were reflected as being my numbers and that is not true. you notice there is not a lot of detail on this, there is a lot of flexibility built in, so we can maybe do some things together it is mentioned no one from the other side has ever voted on onfinal passage with t majority party i have been here 23 budgets now and i get to see that a lot of different administrations, so, i tried to change partly by having you get
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copies of the budget days before we had this discussion i can tell that we get better admin myths that way. it has been worthwhile to do that. i think that is a change that could lead to something better if we do budget reform. without budget reform, we will have less and less people watching. i did mention the house leadership did reach out to me about moving forward on caps. i mentioned that limit in budget reform at the same time, because i think that we can go together well. budget reform for this committee will be next after budget. we have got to start on that prior to the last presidential election, we have 13 hearings, and came up with a number of bipartisan things that without probably could pass by unanimous consent, prior to the
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election. there were some extenuating circumstances that made sure that that did not happen. we can go back and review those, too, because similar to things mentioned today, are things that we thought were important then. they need to be a part of it. i keep hearing that the tax bill has caused all of these deficits. the tax bill was asked to be scored statically, not dynamically. that is why the trillion and a half deficit was built in there. we were told that it would take at least six weeks on each amendment if we scored it dynamically. so, it was not scored dynamically. but, economists estimated what gdp level there might be as a result of it. we are exceeding that so far. nevertheless, by february, we had 7 billion more revenue than we did the year before. but, we spent 43 billion more
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than we did the year before. you cannot catch up that way, no way. we are talking about disaster funding on the floor, now. that is important, there are a lot of people who have been harmed by that. we are saying that should not come under the budget. i noticed that when i got here, there were about $7 billion a year in disasters. i said, we really ought to put that in the habudget. i have been putting that in. that number has just blown away. anytime that we don't consider that, and build it in what we are doing is just adding debt for the future generations, too. then, there is another little provision in this year's disaster one that says that the harbor maintenance fund, any money with spend out of that does not count if we do that
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with the highway trust fund, we can do all the infrastructure this country ever needs. we just spend the money and no count it. on federal employees pensions that have been mentioned, most, i did charts on stuff that i headed out beforehand, and it shows the amount of revenues we get for pensions, versus the amount of pensions we pay. and, if we are going to be able to continue to pay pensions, somehow we are going to have to increase revenues a little, or there will not be any pensions. i am just looking, i watch what has happened, i did both major pension bills we did in conjunction with senator kennedy, and now that that is a crisis. the solution that is in there, may not be the right one. you better start looking for a solution, it affects each of
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our pensions as well. but, it affects every federal employee, not just the military . there was also mentioned there was a balanced budget during president clinton's term. also mentioned that there was a balance budget during president clinton's term. i went back to see how that was possible. one of the methings we had at that time that was what we don't have now, social security surpluses. the federal government does not have any way to invest those surpluses. what we have to do is spend those surpluses. we have this neat little trick where there's someone out here who has a file drawer with arms in it to make up for the revenues we already spent from social security and of course that stands behind those as well. we don't really count that in the deck so those are some of the things i noticed from what
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was said today. i appreciate all of the comments. i've always said every amendment is at least a germ of an idea which needs to be considered. and under kennedy when we were chairman and ranking member, sometimes the germ of the idea has to be watered a little bit and blossom before it will actually work. i appreciate everyone who put in the amendment we will take a look at all of them. >> one final comment on spending doctor hall said spending will grow for 20% to 23% of gdp by 2029. the 50 year averages 20.3 and as senator warner pointed out before, the revenue needs to be recovered and i like again the grind slope in what we had in the previous reform provisions that we were talking about so
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we could get things on track so i appreciate those of you who stuck here until the very end and those of you in the audience as well. that concludes today's opening remarks and tomorrow morning at 10:30 in the heart building not in here, we will have the beginning of the mark of the amendments.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> then they probably ought to have more but the defense goes through that process every year where we have the national defense authorization act where we take the chance to put in some kind of comment about what they need to do. that might not be as thorough as some like to have and it may leave some things out but that authorization has been covered here. we would not have time to cover any authorization every year but the committees could at least cover the ones that expired and we go back as far as 1983 on expired programs that we are still funding with the cost of living increase. >> senator, senator murray noted the budget technically
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coincided with the caps but she had the proposal and she had two ways of the caps with the deficit neutral and it doesn't have the proposal to raise the caps to x amount. i guess, do you have any thoughts on why you did not include a proposal to raise the caps? >> the budget act does not call for us to do that and i tried to stay within what the budget act says because that's the law, i tried to follow that. it doesn't take wording in here to suggest we need to do something with the caps and the debt limit and with the budget process i mean that needs to be done and it probably could be done in one package and has
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some chance of passing. >> is there a certain ballpark or spending level you are pushing for? >> if i did have, i wouldn't say. [ laughter ] any more than that would be considered a failure on my part. >> when i asked budget and appropriations numbers about the start we had gotten onto this year so far there were answers to the point where as senator shelby mentioned how do you think we are as far as getting the process going this year? >> part of the process ought to be is that we don't have any government shutdowns and there are a number of proposals out there that would be able to keep that from happening. i think that's probably several of us could be melded together to come up with something that would work with both sides to agree on and i hope that that
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happens. you should include that in my list of things that needs to be done. >> with automatic measures, any particular example that would avoid a shutdown? >> well i could give you examples but i'm not saying any of them would be in the exact thing because if you check there are several bills that have been filed that would do that. most of them deal with whether after 90 days there is a track for any of them that have not been funded, some of them have a flat line and some of them would give them a slight increase if the budget had not improved. and that is probably the crux again of what keeps the decision from happening. >> discussion about budget reform, do you have any comment on that? >> as for budget reform over
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the next few weeks, no. as for budget reform during this next session of congress, i'm optimistic, we are at the same situation where nobody could be certain of who the president is going to be and nobody could be certain of who the majority is going to be so both sides could be very different in a way that could make the government work. >> do you think the shutdown, are scared of supporting the numbers supporting that compared to before? >> that wasn't the problem. >> thank you. >> thank you.
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