Committee on the Budget

Tom Price

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

2016/02/04

Good morning and thank you all for being here.

Today’s hearing is focused on the Congressional Budget Office’s recently released Budget and Economic Outlook. In its report CBO projects that if no changes are made to current policies, deficits over the next decade will total $9.4 trillion. This is up from $7.6 trillion from your estimate last year. The national debt will rise to over $29 trillion by 2026, from it’s current too high $19 trillion – and average economic growth over the next ten years will be a disappointing 2.1 percent – a full one-third lower than the historical average. 

For individuals, families and businesses, this slow growth and skyrocketing debt will mean less opportunity, fewer jobs and smaller paychecks, and a nation increasingly vulnerable to national security threats both at home and abroad.

This is not an optimistic outlook for America. It is not a sustainable outlook for any nation, and the longer we take to address these challenges the harder it will be and the fewer options we will have to actually solve them.

If you look at interest payments on the debt – just what we will spend to service the debt at the end of the decade – we are talking nearly $1 trillion dollars. That’s more than we will spend on defense, on education, Medicaid, transportation infrastructure. Pick a priority. Money spent on paying this interest will crowd out spending on other important priorities for Americans.  Buying a car, paying the rent, buying a house, starting/expanding a business, sending a kid to college – all of them made more difficult because of the level of debt their government continues to accumulate. By 2026, interest on our debt will be the third largest line-item in the federal budget – behind only Social Security and Medicare. 

So how can we solve these challenges? I know many of our friends on the other side of the aisle – and particularly the president – think we ought to take more money from hardworking taxpayers.

But CBO projects that federal revenues are set to go up by $127 billion in fiscal year 2016 – a nearly four percent increase over last fiscal year. Revenue levels for 2016 are slated to be 18.3 percent of our gross domestic product and remain around 18 percent over the decade to come – which is well above the historical average.  The government is now taking more money than ever in taxes from the American people.

My constituents know – and I suspect yours do too – that Uncle Sam does not need a raise. Washington needs to get its act together and stop spending at levels we cannot sustain. According to CBO, spending will reach 21.2 percent of GDP in 2016 and climb to 23.1 percent of the economy in 2026. Again, this will far exceed the historical average of 20.2 percent.  That means more money taken from Americans and spent on things that crowd out – or decrease – the likelihood of folks to be able to do the things they want to do.   

So instead of taking more from the American people to spend more in Washington, we ought to focus on real solutions: reforms that will make government more efficient, effective and accountable and solutions that will support a stronger, healthier economy. 

If we focus on those two goals, we will not only balance the budget, and get on a path to paying off the debt, but we can also create an environment in this country where more Americans will achieve success, provide for themselves and their families, and have nation that is more secure and stronger than ever before. That’s what we believe – that we ought to be working to foster a system with the greatest amount of opportunity and the greatest amount of success, for the greatest number of people, so that the greatest number of American dreams may be realized – in a fair and compassionate system.

Sadly, under the economic policies of President Obama, Americans have experienced the worst recovery in modern times. CBO has continued to downgrade its growth projections year after year, and in January, we learned that the U.S. economy grew at an anemic 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. This is the dismal economic legacy the president is championing. 

Meanwhile, vital health and retirement programs like Medicare and Social Security are headed toward insolvency – they’re going broke. What does that mean?  That if we do nothing – then we will not be able to provide the services to folks who have been promised those services.  And it’s already happening - we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on assistance programs that are often failing the very people they are supposed to be helping.  Medicaid is a classic example – with more money being spent and more people being forced into a program where there are fewer and fewer doctors providing care – and services are often not adequate to help the people needing help. It’s simply not right. 

We have a choice as a nation. We can continue down this road, stick with the status quo, and turn CBO’s projections into reality. Or we can turn the page, put in place a budget that balances, that saves and strengthens Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, that supports our brave men and women in uniform. Right now our committee is hard at work on building such a plan.

Thank you Director Hall for being here today and for your work and that of your colleagues at the Congressional Budget Office. I look forward to your testimony and to a healthy discussion about the challenges ahead and how we solve them.

And with that, I yield to the ranking member, Mr. Van Hollen. 

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Joint Announcement from House and Senate Budget Committees on OMB Hearing

2016/02/04

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) today announced that both committees will not hold a hearing hosting the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to review the president’s FY 2017 Budget.

“Nothing in the president’s prior budgets – none of which have ever balanced – has shown that the Obama Administration has any real interest in actually solving our fiscal challenges or saving critical programs like Medicare and Social Security from insolvency,” said Chairman Price. “Rather than spend time on a proposal that, if anything like this Administration’s previous budgets, will double down on the same failed policies that have led to the worst economic recovery in modern times, Congress should continue our work on building a budget that balances and that will foster a healthy economy.”

“It appears the President’s final budget will continue to focus on new spending proposals instead of confronting our government’s massive overspending and debt,” said Chairman Enzi.  “It is clear that this President will not put forth the budget effort that our times and our country require. Instead of hearing from an Administration unconcerned with our $19 trillion in debt, we should focus on how to reform America’s broken budget process and restore the trust of hardworking taxpayers.”   

 

 
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Price: President Obama has Defied the Will of the People

2016/02/02

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after the House of Representatives voted on a measure opposing President Obama’s veto of the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act – a bill Congress sent to the president’s desk repealing the main pillars of Obamacare, prohibiting funding for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, and providing increased funding for community health centers to help direct more resources to women’s health care.
 
“President Obama has defied the will of a majority of Americans and ignored their voices by insisting on a law that is destructive to the health of our people and our economy. As the actions of Congress have made clear, the president is the only person standing in the way of patient-centered solutions. We will be the ones standing on the side of the American people continuing this important fight to ensure patients, families and doctors are the ones making medical decisions, not Washington. We will defend the will of the people against an intrusive and arrogant Washington bureaucracy while championing solutions that will expand access to quality, affordable health care choices for all Americans.” Read More

Price Statement on Disappointing Fourth Quarter GDP Report

2016/01/29

Washington, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement in response to today’s disappointing report that showed the U.S. economy growing at a dismal 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015:
 
“After seven years of President Obama’s experiment with bigger government, more spending, and higher taxes, the result is an economy that is underperforming and denying opportunity to millions of Americans. It is disappointing that the president continues championing this economic record – growth at less than one percent and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, an average growth rate of just over two percent in the coming decade if we keep the same policies in place. It is a clear indicator that the president’s agenda has failed and is harming our nation’s economic vitality. That is why House Republicans will soon introduce a budget that will lay out a clear alternative to the president’s disastrous policies with positive solutions that will build a healthy economy where individuals, families, and businesses can thrive and achieve success.”
 
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Price Statement on CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook

2016/01/19

Washington, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement in response to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) release of a summary of its upcoming Budget and Economic Outlook. CBO projects deficits of $9.4 trillion over the next decade, the national debt to rise to $23.8 trillion by 2026, and for economic growth to continue to slow.
 
“Our nation has a choice to make. We can stay the course and watch CBO’s projections of slow growth and a rising mountain of debt become a reality - which will bring less opportunity, less freedom, and less security. Or, we can take positive actions and implement policies that will heal our economy, promote greater growth and job creation for more Americans, and put our nation’s fiscal house in order. Turning that page starts with a budget. This is why House Republicans are hard at work putting together a plan that presents bold, positive solutions to address our economic and fiscal challenges. Our reforms will get Washington out of the way so businesses can grow, more dreams can be realized, and more financial security can be had by the American people. We will ensure the brave men and women who protect our nation have the resources they need to defeat our enemies and secure our freedoms. At the same time, we will save and strengthen vital health, retirement and economic security programs that must be reformed if we are to keep those promises to future generations. We must make the right choices today to ensure a more prosperous America for generations to come. They're counting on us.”
 
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Price Statement on State of the Union Address

2016/01/12

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:

“Since his administration began, President Obama has spent a lot of time trying to convince the American people of the virtues of his agenda. Meanwhile, the reality is that under the president’s policies, our nation’s debt has risen dramatically while he has failed to offer a single budget that balances. Millions of Americans are still struggling in an economy that is underperforming by historical standards because the president’s economic policies of higher taxes and burdensome regulations build barriers to growth, diminish opportunity and impede increases in wages. Health care costs are going up and quality is going down – not in spite of Obamacare, but because of it. Around the world, we see more emerging threats and instability while the administration has no real strategy to defeat our enemies or assure our allies of America’s continued leadership in the world.

“That is the president’s legacy, but it does not have to be America’s future. The American people are resilient and resourceful. Our nation is strongest when we empower our citizens to pursue their dreams and seize opportunity. That is why in the months ahead Republicans will be putting forward positive solutions that will support American families and job creators, advance patient-centered health care reforms, hold Washington accountable to hard-working taxpayers, and provide for a strong and capable national defense. A critical step in this effort will be building a balanced budget around real reforms that address these tremendous challenges and seize new opportunities to secure a brighter future.”

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Price Responds to President’s Veto of Obamacare Repeal

2016/01/08

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after President Obama vetoed H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 – legislation that repeals the most coercive components of Obamacare, halts federal funding for abortion providers prohibited under the legislation, and increases funding for community health centers.
 
“With his veto, President Obama has single-handedly denied the American people the relief they seek from a law that is driving up the cost of health care, while driving down the quality. The president has shown he is willing to pull more money out of the pockets of hardworking Americans, limit access to care, tax innovation, burden job creators and undermine the doctor-patient relationship in order to protect his legacy. While no one will be surprised by the president’s decision, many Americans will continue to be harmed by it.
 
“The American people have said loud and clear that they do not want top-down policies that empower the Washington bureaucracy at the expense of patient choice and the doctor-patient relationship. Despite the president’s intransigence, Congress will continue to pursue health care reform that puts patients first, encourages innovation, expands choices and access to quality, affordable care and contributes to a healthy economy. In the months to come, I look forward to working with my colleagues on positive, patient-centered solutions that will show what can and will be achieved when we have an administration in the White House that respects the will of the American people and the fact that patients, families and doctors ought to be making medical decisions, not Washington.”
 
 
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Price Statement on Final Passage of Reconciliation Bill

2016/01/06

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after the House passed H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 – sending the first broad repeal of Obamacare to the president’s desk. The reconciliation legislation was made possible by the successful completion of the Fiscal Year 2016 budget conference agreement. It repeals key pillars of Obamacare, reduces the deficit by $516 billion, and paves the way for patient-centered health care reform.

“For the first time since this disastrous law was passed, Congress is sending a broad Obamacare repeal bill to the president’s desk. The Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act would protect individuals, families, job creators and health care providers from the harm the law is doing to the quality, affordability and accessibility of care. Under the Obamacare status quo, folks are paying more in premiums and out-of-pocket expenses for fewer choices and less access to physicians and treatments. Businesses face undue mandates and taxes in an already weakened economy. Sending this bill to the president’s desk clearly shows that Republicans are doing everything we can to protect the American people and their health care from an intrusive and unaccountable Washington bureaucracy.

“Critical to this entire effort was Congress’ successful adoption of a budget last year. Reconciliation would not have been possible had the House and Senate not first passed the Fiscal Year 2016 budget resolution conference agreement, providing Congress with the authority to pursue the reconciliation process.

“Repealing Obamacare is only a first step. Congress must pursue health care reforms that respect and protect the doctor-patient relationship, encourage innovation, and make quality care affordable and accessible for all Americans. We can address the tremendous challenges in America’s health care system through policies that put patients, families and doctors in charge, not Washington, D.C.. I look forward to Congress advancing patient-centered solutions in the months to come.”

Click here for a one-page summary of H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015. For further information on the FY2016 reconciliation process, click here.

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VIDEO: Price Discusses Obamacare Repeal on Fox News

2016/01/05

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss H.R. 3762, the Restoring Americans' Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015 which repeals the coercive core of Obamacare and paves the way for patient-centered health care reform. The reconciliation bill is set to be adopted by the House of Representatives tomorrow and will be the first broad Obamacare repeal bill sent to President Obama's desk. 

Excerpts:

On the Obamacare repeal effort:

"This is really an important event this week. For the first time, we are going to be able to have a bill pass through the Senate and the House, get it on the president's desk, that repeals Obamacare. That fulfills our responsibility to represent our constituents, and recognize what they know and that is that this law is not only harming the health of so many Americans in many many ways across this country but the health our of economy. So what we will do is put this bill on the president's desk that will repeal Obamacare, and will let the president then say whether or not he stands with the American people or whether he's getting in the way of positive solutions."


On what a patient-centered health care reform effort looks like:

“It respects the principles that are violated by Obamacare. So, accessibility for every single American but not a mandate that dictates to people what they’ve got to buy. Affordability. The cost of health care is skyrocketing. We need to bring those costs down. Incentives for the highest quality of health care in the world. Quality is being harmed by Obamacare. And choices. The incredible amount of choices that patients want. They want to be the ones that select who’s treating them and where and when and the like. So we’ll respect those principles. And when you look at those principles, then you can figure out exactly what the bill ought to look like. And that’s what we’ll be doing through our committee process.” 
 
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Price Supports Tax Relief for American Families and Businesses

2015/12/17

WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (GA-06) issued the following statement after voting for the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015:

“As we have seen over the past several years, when Washington creates uncertainty in the economy, individuals, families and job creators have less opportunity to succeed. With this legislation – which extends, in many cases permanently, important tax provisions – Congress is alleviating much of that burden of uncertainty and helping folks better plan for their future. Americans will keep more of their hard-earned money to spend and invest as they see fit, and that is vital to building a healthy economy and a less intrusive federal government. While passage of this legislation is important, we must remain committed to fundamental tax reform that will make the tax code simpler, fairer and boost America’s competitive edge in the global economy.” 
 
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