Committee on the Budget

Tom Price

Price Applauds Appointment of Keith Hall as CBO Director


WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement today after Dr. Keith Hall was appointed to serve as the next Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

“Keith Hall will bring an impressive level of economic expertise and experience to the Congressional Budget Office. Throughout his career, he has served in both the public and private sector, under presidents of both parties, and in roles that make him well-suited to lead the CBO. In particular, during his time at the U.S. International Trade Commission, Dr. Hall has worked on providing Congress with non-partisan economic analyses – a role similar to the responsibilities he will now assume as CBO director. His vast understanding of economic and labor market policy will be invaluable to the work of CBO and the important roll it will continue to play as Congress seeks to enact policies that support a healthy and growing economy.”

Dr. Hall’s term as CBO Director will begin April 1, 2015. Until that time, Dr. Douglas Elmendorf will continue to serve as director. Chairman Price issued the following statement thanking Director Elmendorf for agreeing to extend his time at CBO:

“Director Elmendorf has earned our respect and appreciation for his service as director of the Congressional Budget Office. He has shown a tireless commitment to the work of the CBO and to the important role it plays in Congress’ debates over fiscal and economic policy. I’m particularly grateful for his willingness to continue serving as director after his term has expired and through the end of March as the House and Senate Budget Committees are hard at work building our budget proposals.”

Background on Dr. Keith Hall:
Dr. Hall has served in various governmental advisory and analytical roles at the White House, the Department of Treasury and Department of Commerce, as well as the International Trade Commission where he currently serves as Chief Economist. From 2008 to 2012, he was the Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics under both President George Bush and President Barack Obama. In addition to his public service, Dr. Hall has been a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s (GMU) Mercatus Center and as a professor at GMU, Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, University of Arkansas, and University of Missouri. His public and private work and research has focused on labor market policy, trade policy and regulatory policy. Hall received his B.A. in Economics and Psychology from the University of Virginia, a M.S. in Economics from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Purdue University.

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House Budget Committee Announces Members’ Day Hearing


WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, February 25, the House Budget Committee will hold a Members’ Day hearing for members of the House of Representatives to testify before the Committee on their suggested policies and priorities for the Fiscal Year 2016 budget. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement encouraging fellow members to participate and provide their input and ideas:

“Building a responsible, balanced budget is a serious challenge but also a basic responsibility of Congress. That is why it is important that all members of the House of Representatives have the opportunity to contribute to the conversation and to play a part in the process. The House Budget Committee is interested in hearing the unique and diverse perspectives of our fellow members. We encourage our colleagues to participate, and we look forward to ultimately presenting a budget that addresses our fiscal challenges and promotes a healthy economy for hard-working American families.”
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Price's Opening Statement: The President's FY 2016 Budget


As Prepared for Delivery

Good morning, everyone, and thanks for being here today.

As we discussed in last week’s hearing with the CBO director, there is no question our nation is on a fiscal and economic path that is unsustainable. Our national debt has topped $18 trillion and is growing ever larger. Vital programs that folks rely on are heading toward insolvency. And our economy isn’t growing nearly as fast as it should be. If we maintain this status quo, we’re going to have a future of less opportunity and less security for the American people.

So, it’s clear we need to move in a different direction and that requires new ideas that can actually deliver real, positive results. Unfortunately, what the president has proposed in his budget fails on many levels to solve the challenges we face.

Director Donovan, thank you for being here today. I look forward to your testimony and explanation of the president’s reasoning behind his budget proposal, because, to be honest, my colleagues and I, on this committee, have serious concerns with what the president has put forward.

A lot of what we have here in the president’s budget is just more of the same policies that have been tried over the past few years and have led us to our current state of high, and soon to be rising again, deficits and an underperforming economy. The president is proposing a $2.1 trillion tax increase and a $2.4 trillion spending increase. He’s suggesting that Washington ought to take more from American families and job creators in order to spend more in Washington. That’s a formula that hasn’t worked in the past, and it’s not going to start working now. Every dollar that is taken from Americans in taxes – and every dollar borrowed – is a dollar that can’t be spent on – paying for your kid’s education, buying a car, paying your rent, paying your mortgage, buying a house. All the things the American people want to do – are made more difficult, because of the president’s budget.

Despite the president’s massive tax increases, his budget never balances – ever. The president is saying we should keep spending more money that we don’t have and leave the serious problem of our growing debt to someone else or some other day. $8.5 trillion will be added to the debt over the next ten years and the president seems content to do little about it. Even more disturbing is the fact that the president is once again just ignoring the challenges in our retirement programs and leaving current and future generations to fend for themselves when these programs eventually collapse. Isn’t that just doing nothing and breaking the promise to today’s seniors and tomorrow’s retirees?

In order to increase spending across the board, the president’s budget would unravel bipartisan agreements that have secured a modicum of spending restraint in recent years. We can all agree that there are smarter ways to control spending and get our fiscal house in order, but the president is not proposing a smarter way to restore fiscal responsibility. He’s just abandoning the effort.

At the end of the day, a proposal that never balances and ignores key drivers of the nation’s debt is not a serious plan. And to make matters worse, the president’s proposal is filled with $1 trillion in budget gimmicks like phony war savings, and several un-paid-for extensions of current law including the “doc fix,” stimulus-era tax credits. The American people are looking for credible solutions not misleading assumptions and questionable accounting. Hard-working taxpayers deserve nothing less. They deserve our best effort.

Starting with his State of the Union address, the president has sought to repackage his old ideas under a new slogan – “middle class economics.” Unfortunately, it’s the middle class that is being harmed by these policies with wages stagnating, businesses facing barriers to growth and opportunity, and more tax dollars being taken out of the pockets of Americans and wasted away in Washington.

Director Donovan, thank you again for joining us today. It’s clear we have differences of opinions, but I look forward to hearing your testimony today – and I hope and pray we will work – together – to find honest solutions to the remarkable challenges we face.  

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

President Obama Proposes Same Failed Policies


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the White House released President Obama’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2016 – a proposal that never balances and includes a $2.4 trillion spending increase, a $2.1 trillion tax increase and adds $8.5 trillion to the national debt. House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) issued the following joint statement in response:

“Our nation is on a fiscal and economic path that is simply unsustainable. Failed policies and stale thinking in Washington are contributing to a growing mountain of debt and an underperforming economy. That’s why it’s so disturbing that President Obama has submitted yet another budget proposal that is focused on the same tired agenda that has failed to deliver for American families. The president is advocating more spending, more taxes and more debt. As we have seen over the past several years, that approach will yield less opportunity for the middle class and a crushing burden of debt that threatens both our future prosperity and our national security. A proposal that never balances is not a serious plan for America’s fiscal future. Especially when we have to borrow money just to afford the programs we already have.

“The president is required by law to submit a budget proposal. It is a suggestion and a wish list, but the budget of Congress sets the outline of spending for the coming year.  We will work with our colleagues to make sure it is complete, on-time, and balanced within the next ten years.

“We are ready to move past the new normal of President Obama’s budget and in a new direction. We want to make government more efficient and accountable to hard-working taxpayers by lifting the regulatory burden on families and job creators, and by embracing the innovative spirit that drives American entrepreneurship and success. This is how we as a nation can lay the foundation for a healthy economy and a responsible federal budget.”

Key Facts: The President's FY 2016 Budget

Tax Increases
• Despite $2.1 trillion in new tax increases, President Obama’s budget never balances—ever.
• Major proposed tax increases include higher levies on savings and investment, small businesses, and increases in the costs of hiring workers.    
• These tax hikes would stunt the economic growth needed to get Americans back to work, and come on top of $1.7 trillion in tax hikes already imposed by this Administration.  

Spending Increases
• The President’s budget increases annually-appropriated spending for next year by $74 billion relative to current law. Over 5 years, he would increase such spending by $322 billion.  
• Next year alone, the President’s budget would grow total federal spending by $259 billion, or 7 percent.
• Total spending will increase by 65 percent ($2.4 trillion) in 10 years under the President’s plan.

Interest Costs Skyrocket
• President Obama’s plan more than triples interest costs, which remain the fastest growing item in the budget.
• Interest on the debt this year would be $229 billion, but would rise to $785 billion in 2025 under his plan.  
• At the end of President’s plan, annual interest costs would be larger than his proposed spending for national defense, Medicaid or the combined total of all non-defense agency spending.  

Debt Climbs
• Since 2009, we’ve added $7.5 trillion to the debt and spent $21.1 trillion.
• The President’s budget plan would add $8.5 trillion to the debt.
• Cumulative deficits would amount to $5.7 trillion, and gross debt would climb to $26.3 trillion in 2025.
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Price's Opening Statement: CBO's Budget and Economic Outlook


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


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


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


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


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


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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