Committee on the Budget

Tom Price

Price's Opening Statement: CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook

2015/01/27

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. 
 
We are here today to discuss the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook. As always, the CBO has done a tremendous amount of difficult work to produce this report, and we appreciate their time, input and expertise. Additionally, I want to thank Director Elmendorf for testifying today – and for his diligent work. I know we look forward to hearing what he has to say.

In reviewing this report, one thing is abundantly clear: our nation is on an unsustainable path. That’s not just my characterization. CBO itself notes that when we look at the long-term budget outlook “…debt would still be on an upward path relative to the size of the economy in 2039, a trend that would ultimately be unsustainable.”

Deficits are historically high right now – and they’re projected to start rising again in 2017, and over the next decade, we’re going to add $9.5 trillion more to the national debt.  That means debt held by the public as a percentage of the economy will grow to 79 percent by the end of the decade, and remain at these elevated levels. This is at the same time that the amount of revenue that will be coming in to the government will be above the historic average. In other words, this is not a revenue problem. It's a spending problem, and for all that has been said about the recent decrease in annual deficits, we have not solved our nation’s fiscal challenges. In fact, under the status quo, our fiscal and economic concerns are only going to get worse.

The projected increase in debt will mean $5.6 trillion in interest payments alone over the next decade. In 2025, interest on the debt will top $800 billion -- which is more than we spend right now on the Departments of Transportation, Commerce, and Health and Human Services combined. That’s just the interest. That’s just money going out the window and not being used on other national priorities.

Meanwhile, Medicare and Social Security are continuing to slide further toward insolvency. Doing nothing about that is not an option. We are talking about the health and well-being of millions of Americans who count on these vital programs – not just future generations but current beneficiaries as well.

So what does all of this fiscal turmoil mean for the future of our country? Simply put: if we stay on the current course: less opportunity for American families and job creators. Economic growth will average just 2.3 percent annually over the next decade – below the historical average of 3.3 percent. That’s unacceptable. Over the past several years, with each subsequent report, CBO has continued to lower its projection for average GDP growth.  This, too, is unsustainable.

Our job as policymakers is to listen to the families and entrepreneurs across this great country and do what we can to support a positive environment for job creation and economic growth. Right now, a lot of what is coming out of Washington – higher taxes, stifling regulations, an inefficient and ineffective federal bureaucracy – is clearly not helping.

And it’s the middle class – in particular – that’s losing out. For middle class families, wages have stagnated and median income is down – under current policies. We can’t stay on this path. It’s unsustainable both for our budget and for working Americans.

To change direction we need to focus on policies that can produce real results, ideas that will save and strengthen crucial health and retirement programs, balance the budget, and empower individuals, families and Americas innovative workforce, not Washington bureaucrats.  That’s how we build the foundation for a healthy economy that will benefit every single American.

In the weeks and months ahead, here in the Budget Committee we will explore how we can achieve those goals, and I know Director Elmendorf’s testimony today will be an important part of that effort.

Thank you.  I now yield to the ranking member, Mr. van Hollen. Read More

Price Statement on CBO Outlook: A Sober Reminder of the Challenges We Face

2015/01/26

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Budget and Economic Outlook, which projects a $468 billion deficit for fiscal year 2015. Annual deficits will stop falling and start rising again in 2017, reaching $1.1 trillion in 2025. According to the CBO, these deficits will add another $9.5 trillion to the national debt by the end of the decade – bringing the total to over $27 trillion

In response, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement:

"Today’s CBO report is a sober reminder of the fiscal and economic challenges we face as a nation. If nothing is done, we will continue down an unsustainable path full of rising annual deficits that will add to an already $18 trillion debt. Our vital health and retirement programs will continue to grow further toward insolvency. Perhaps most disturbing is the projected steady decline in economic growth. This ‘new normal’ is unacceptable, and it will mean less opportunity for American families and job creators now and in the years to come.“

“There’s no reason it has to be this way. With innovative thinking, real accountability, and more efficient and effective policies, we can solve our fiscal challenges while restoring strength and confidence to our economy. If we commit ourselves to advancing serious solutions and focus on real results, not empty promises, we can stop the nation from drowning further in debt. In doing so, we will lay the foundation for a healthy economy that can benefit all Americans.”

CBO’s Key Findings:

• Real GDP growth will average just 2.3 percent annually over the next 10 years – below the historical average of 3.3 percent

• Annual deficits are projected to begin rising again and will climb to $1.1 trillion by 2025

• Debt held by the public as a percentage of the economy will remain at an elevated level, growing to 79 percent by the end of the decade.

• Interest owed on the national debt will exceed $5.6 trillion over the next 10 years.

• Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will each nearly double over the next decade.

Read the report here. Read More

Price Op-Ed in RealClearPolitics: A Healthy Economy For All

2015/01/23

By Rep. Tom Price - January 23, 2015 - Permalink

President Obama calls higher taxes, more bureaucracy and Washington spending “middle class economics.” Yet it’s those economic policies that have created a recovery that’s been particularly lousy for America’s middle class.

Wages have stagnated; median income is down and GDP growth is worse than any recovery in the modern era. According to the most recent data available from the Federal Reserve, real median household income for the middle fifth of families has fallen by 6 percent since 2010. At the same time, the top ten percent of families have seen their real median household income increase by 2 percent.

The American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks calls this an “asymmetrical recovery.” Under President Obama, it is called the new normal. The middle class is getting left out of the nation’s economic recovery.

The president can talk all day about “shared prosperity,” but after he and his allies in Congress spent years constructing barriers to economic opportunity – that they are now feverishly promoting and protecting – you get these unhealthy results. When you put in place a program like Obamacare – which, in addition to harming access to quality health care, takes power out of the hands of individuals, families and entrepreneurs and puts it in the hands of Washington – you make it harder and more costly for job creators to grow jobs and increase wages. When you block the exploration and production of energy resources, American workers lose out on jobs and energy security. When the president proposes once again to raise taxes to ensure the wealthy “pay their fair share” you get a scenario where everyone else ends up paying the price; including small businesses that often file as individuals instead of corporations.

While it may come as a surprise to those in the White House, higher taxes, needless regulations, and an overcharged, inefficient Washington bureaucracy are all barriers to growth and opportunity.

If what the president is proactively doing were not harmful enough, what he’s refusing to do is far worse. President Obama’s unwillingness or inability to address our looming debt crisis harms today’s working families and will be particularly painful for the next generation as well. On our current course, America is going to rack up $5.2 trillion alone in interest payments on the debt in the next ten years. If we allotted those payments to taxpayers, it would be $300 more per month out of the pockets of hard-working folks. That is money that cannot be used to support health care, transportation, education or a strong national defense. It is just another burden on millions of Americans already struggling to get by.

President Obama and his Democrat allies will claim they want to do something about the nation’s fiscal challenges by taking more money out of the pockets of families and businesses. But, like so many other grand schemes from this administration, the math just does not add up. Even if Washington were to tax every single dollar of every single millionaire in the country, it would generate roughly $1.3 trillion in revenue – or enough to fund the government for about four months out of the year.

A failure to address our debt challenges with a serious, realistic and long-term reform plan means the nation’s fiscal and economic well-being will only get worse.

Republicans are not willing to let our nation be condemned to this future. That is why we are focused on solutions that will increase economic opportunity and create a healthy economy to help benefit all Americans.

Our opportunity agenda says that policymakers ought to embrace the can-do attitude of American workers and the creative spirit of entrepreneurs and innovators. That means getting the debt under control by putting forward a balanced budget that allocates tax dollars more effectively and efficiently. It means strengthening and securing vital health and retirement programs that benefit millions of Americans but also represent the overwhelming majority of government spending. It’s reckless and irresponsible to ignore the fact that these programs are on an unsustainable path.

At the same time, we need to reform the tax code so it is simpler and fairer, while streamlining regulations so that Washington stops trying to run our lives and instead focuses on its core responsibilities.

These actions will build the foundation for long-term prosperity, strengthen our communities and enhance the quality of life for more American families. They will empower individuals and build a healthy economy that encourages and rewards innovation, entrepreneurship, optimism, and creativity. With more jobs and increased wages, it will be easier to address our debt challenges, and in the long-term, we will have a healthier economy.

That’s not just good for one group of Americans. That’s good for every American.

Rep. Tom Price is Chair of the House Budget Committee. Read More

Price Responds to President’s State of the Union Address

2015/01/20

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:
 
“Listening to President Obama tonight it is clear that this administration is stuck in the past when it comes to thinking about how we solve the tremendous challenges facing our nation. The president believes we should continue pursuing the same failed policies that have contributed to an economic recovery that’s leaving the middle class behind and a long-term budget crisis that threatens our future prosperity and national security.
 
“The good news is that these challenges can be addressed with positive, innovative solutions that empower American families, workers and entrepreneurs. Solutions like fundamental tax reform and a balanced budget that will break down barriers to economic growth and opportunity. Regulatory reform to make government more efficient and accountable. Improvements to the nation’s health and retirement programs so that we are saving and strengthening these programs for generations to come.
 
“The president’s plan – higher taxes and more government spending when Washington cannot afford to pay for what it has already promised – is neither positive nor innovative. House Republicans are ready to work with the president and Democrats in Congress, but it is past time we moved beyond the same, tired policies of the past that failed to deliver on the president’s promises. We have to focus on unleashing an economy that benefits every American with a government that’s accountable to hard-working taxpayers. We invite the president to join us.”
 
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Congressman Todd Rokita Named Vice Chair of House Budget Committee

2015/01/13

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, House Budget Committee Chair Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) announced that Congressman Todd Rokita (IN-04) has been selected to serve as Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee for the 114th Congress. Congressman Rokita has been a member of the House Budget Committee since being elected in 2010. Chairman Price issued the following statement following Rokita’s selection:

“With his knowledge of the budget process and commitment to solving big challenges, Congressman Rokita will be an invaluable asset as we continue our work to balance the budget and encourage job creation and economic growth. We have a real opportunity to advance positive solutions through the Congress to the president’s desk, and the House Budget Committee and the country will be well served by Congressman Rokita’s role as Vice Chairman. It’s an honor to have him as part of our team, and I look forward to working with him.”

House Budget Committee Vice Chair Todd Rokita issued the following statement:

“I am honored to serve as Vice-Chair of the House Budget Committee, where we will be working diligently to craft a budget that balances in ten years, and which lays out other bold reforms that will be needed to reduce our debt load for the next generation.  I have a deep respect for Chairman Price.  He has been a close mentor and friend of mine, providing sage advice not just on budget issues, but on many of the challenges that face our country.  I look forward to serving this country and the other Budget Committee members under Dr. Price’s leadership.  I came to Washington to fight for the children of tomorrow by stopping the out-of-control federal spending that is strangling our economy.  Our $18 trillion national debt is a moral issue.  It is imperative that we act now to put our nation back on a path toward fiscal responsibility.”

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Price Applauds Passage of Keystone Pipeline

2015/01/09

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline:
 
“Once again, the House has acted with broad, bipartisan support to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we expect swift action in the Senate. This common sense project will create jobs and strengthen America’s energy security. It reflects the will of the American people who are ready to see Congress work together on real solutions to expand economic opportunity.  

“Instead of working across the aisle like he has repeatedly claimed he would, President Obama has already issued a veto threat. He has blocked this project for years – putting political considerations above the interests of American workers. The president ought to demonstrate true leadership by allowing the Keystone Pipeline to move forward.”

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Price Praises Inclusion of Realistic Scoring Analysis in House Rules Package

2015/01/06

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives approved its rules package for the 114th Congress. Chairman Price praised the inclusion of a provision that will ensure lawmakers have a more realistic and honest analysis of the budgetary and economic impact of major legislation, saying:

“The inclusion of this realistic analysis provision in the House rules is an important victory in a larger effort to bring more transparency and accountability to the legislative process on behalf of American families. As history has shown and common sense would lead one to believe, laws passed by Congress can have a broad effect on the nation’s economic activity, on job creation and investment decisions. What we are saying is let us take what the experts at CBO and JCT can measure about the real-world impact of policies and incorporate those more realistic assessments into an honest analysis that policymakers can use to make better informed decisions.”

To learn more about the need for macroeconomic scoring, please click here.

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The Need for Macroeconomic Scoring

2014/12/23

Elected officials can’t strengthen the economy if they don’t even know how their decisions affect the economy. For that very reason, Congress relies on two nonpartisan organizations to prepare cost estimates of legislation: the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation.[1] And for that same reason, the House is modifying one of its rules to make greater use of their work.

A cost estimate is like a price tag. It adds up all the expected changes in revenue and outlays over a ten-year period and gives a net sum (or “score”) of a bill’s impact on the deficit. CBO prepares estimates for most legislation (other than revenue bills), while JCT prepares estimates for changes in the tax code.

Read the full paper here.
House Rules and Macroeconomic Scoring
Macroeconomic Scoring Q&A
The Need for Macroeconomic Analysis



[1] See p. 37 of “Committee on the Budget, United States Senate, 32nd Anniversary, 1974–2006” (S. Doc. 109-24) and section 202 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-344).

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Price Congratulates Senator Enzi on Budget Chairmanship

2014/12/18

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06), Chair of the House Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress, issued the following statement today congratulating Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) on the announcement that he will chair the Senate Budget Committee next Congress:  

"I wish to congratulate Senator Enzi on his upcoming chairmanship of the Senate Budget Committee. It will be an honor to work together as we address the tremendous fiscal and economic challenges facing our nation in a way that can achieve real, positive results for the American people. At the same time, I want to thank Senator Jeff Sessions for the leadership he has shown as Ranking Member on the Committee. He’s a tireless advocate for fiscal responsibility and pro-growth policies. I look forward to working with both senators and all the members of the House and Senate Budget Committees in the new year." Read More

Price Announces Members of the House Budget Committee

2014/12/15

Congressman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06), Chair of the House Budget Committee in the upcoming 114th Congress, issued the following statement in announcing the Republican members of the House Budget Committee for the 114th Congress:

"In the new Congress, the House Budget Committee will help lead the charge in addressing our nation’s fiscal and economic challenges by focusing on solutions that strengthen America at home and abroad and promote opportunity for American families. The members of our Republican team on the Committee will be an invaluable part, at every step of the way, in our efforts to achieve real results. Our task will be not only to produce a balanced budget but also to reform and improve the budget process. At the same time, we will utilize our legislative authority to bring together members and other committees on both sides of the Capitol to make progress on the priorities of the American people. I am grateful that my colleagues have agreed to contribute their ideas and their voices to the Committee’s efforts and the many debates that await us in the new year, and I look forward to working with them."

House Budget Committee Republican Members for the 114th Congress:
Rep. Tom Price (GA-06), Chair
Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
Rep. Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04)
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04)
Rep. Diane Black (TN-06)
Rep. Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rep. Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (IN-03) *
Rep. Mark Sanford (SC-01) *
Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18) *
Rep. Dave Brat (VA-07) *
Rep.-elect Rod Blum (IA-01) *
Rep.-elect Glenn Grothman (WI-06) *
Rep.-elect John Moolenaar (MI-04) *
Rep.-elect Alex Mooney (WV-02) *
Rep.-elect Gary Palmer (AL-06) *
Rep.-elect Bruce Westerman (AR-04) *

Note: Additional changes to the committee membership may be made at a later time.
* = New committee members. Read More

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Contact Information

207 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-226-7270
Fax 202-226-7174
budget.house.gov


Membership

Diane Black

TENNESSEE's 6th DISTRICT

Marsha Blackburn

TENNESSEE's 7th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

John Campbell

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Tom Cole

OKLAHOMA's 4th DISTRICT

Sean Duffy

WISCONSIN's 7th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Scott Garrett

NEW JERSEY's 5th DISTRICT

Vicky Hartzler

MISSOURI's 4th DISTRICT

James Lankford

OKLAHOMA's 5th DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Alan Nunnelee

MISSISSIPPI's 1st DISTRICT

Tom Price

GEORGIA's 6th DISTRICT

Reid Ribble

WISCONSIN's 8th DISTRICT

Tom Rice

SOUTH CAROLINA's 7th DISTRICT

Scott Rigell

VIRGINIA's 2nd DISTRICT

Todd Rokita

INDIANA's 4th DISTRICT

Jackie Walorski

INDIANA's 2nd DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Rob Woodall

GEORGIA's 7th DISTRICT