Entries in House Budget Committee (5)


Romney Slams GOP Leaders, Including Paul Ryan, for 2011 Budget Deal

Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis.), as chair of the House Budget Committee, was part of the team that signed off on the budget deal with the White House, mandating immediate spending cuts, creating a “Super-committee” tasked to finding $1.5 trillion in further deficit reduction and raising a self-imposed sword of Damocles — $1.2 trillion in cuts to the Pentagon and domestic spending that few in Congress wanted — if the Super-committee failed.

Writing at the National Review Online at the time, Ryan said the bill was a “reasonable, responsible effort to cut government spending, avoid a default, and help create a better environment for job creation.”

But today Mitt Romney said Ryan, the man he picked as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket, and other House GOP leaders made a “big mistake” in agreeing to that deal, which was part of the summer 2011 negotiations over raising the debt ceiling.

Romney said the mandated cuts were “an extraordinary miscalculation in the wrong direction.”

“Republican leaders agreed to that deal to extend the debt ceiling,” NBC’s David Gregory reminded Romney.

“And that’s a big mistake,” Romney said. “I thought it was a mistake on the part of the White House to propose it. I think it was a mistake for Republicans to go along with it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Jeb Bush, Grilled on Capitol Hill, Differs from Party on No-Tax Pledge

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has risen to the top of the veepstakes list, but Friday he strayed from his party’s policies, in particular pointing out that while running for office in the Sunshine State, he did not sign a no-taxes pledge orchestrated by Grover Norquist of the Americans for Tax Reform.

Bush was testifying on Capitol Hill Friday in front of the House Budget Committee in a wide-ranging and at times temperamental hearing that examined the economy, immigration, education, and the financial and auto bailouts, among other topics. Bush was there to give testimony at a hearing, “Removing the Barriers to Free Enterprise and Economic Growth.”

Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the committee, asked Bush if he agreed with Norquist’s pledge and he answered, “No.” Bush also noted he did not raise taxes during his tenure as governor despite not signing the pledge.

“I ran for office three times,” Bush said. “The pledge was presented to me three times. I never signed the pledge. I cut taxes every year I was governor. I don’t believe you outsource your principles and convictions to people. I respect Grover’s political involvement. He has it every right to do it, but I never signed any pledge.”

The presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has signed the pledge, endorsing it before he ran for president when he was still governor of Massachusetts in 2006. Veepstakes contenders Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman have also signed the pledged.

According to Americans for Tax Reform, the pledge commits signers to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses … and oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

The hearing started tense with Van Hollen telling Bush he “must confess I’m a little surprised that you decided to be here today to criticize the efforts made over the last three years to lift the economy out of the mess that President Obama inherited.”

“For eight years President Bush pursued a failed ideology of trickledown economics based on a  theory that tax cuts for the very wealthy and an anything-goes system on Wall Street would boost the economy and lift all boats. Well, it lifted the yachts, but the rest of the boats went aground,” Van Hollen said, while Bush forced a tight smile. “By the end of those eight years America experienced a net loss of private sector jobs…. Our nation’s fiscal health saw a great reversal in American history from large projected surpluses to large projected deficits.”

Van Hollen continued, “Now I’ve searched the record as far as I can tell in that eight-year period you did not challenge the Bush administration handling of the economy, excessive spending, and rising deficits. Now looking at your testimony … you are here to tell us that government actions have prevented us from the type of snap back economic recovery we have seen in other post war recoveries.”

After that uncomfortable welcome, Bush began his testimony by saying, “It’s a joy to be here.”

“I didn’t come to criticize anybody just for the record,” Bush said. ” I came to share my views. I’m not used to the 9 o’clock food fight that starts bright and early in Washington. I’m from Florida where we don’t start that way in life, but it’s great to be here.”

Bush was invited by Rep. Paul Ryan, who read a Wall Street Journal editorial written by Bush called “Capitalism and the Right to Rise,” which started out quoting Ryan’s phrase “right to rise” as  a “core concept of economic freedom.” And it was Ryan, who introduced a moment of levity in the brusque hearing. Introducing Rep. Henry Waxman, who arrived late, Ryan told the California Democrat that Van Hollen was just telling the committee how “excited he is that Gov. Bush is with us today,” prompting some laughs in the hearing room.

Bush also reacted to the government’s disappointing jobs report, calling 69,000 jobs added and a 8.2 percent unemployment rate “anemic at best.”

“No one could be satisfied with that. We do have an L-shaped recovery and it’s the first since World War II that we have not had a robust recovery,” Bush said. “There is a cloud over our country that relates to this growing pessimism that we cannot restore the vitality of our economy in a way that creates opportunities. More and more people are becoming more and more dependent on government at every level because of it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GOP Rep. Stutzman: 'Long Way to Go' on Budget Talks with Obama

Bill Clark/Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- House Republicans’ meeting at the White House Wednesday failed to produce any breakthroughs on the budget, and participants described a “frosty” and “frank” session that one member of Congress likened to “group therapy.”

On ABC’s Top Line webcast Wednesday, freshman Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., a member of the House Budget Committee, said the meeting was “cordial,” and suggested to him that President Obama is “very serious about the debt.”

But he said the president is still not committing to budget cuts beyond what he’s proposed in the past. And Republicans, for their part, aren’t any more open to new taxes than they’ve been previously.

“He said that he made specific cuts in his budget and has put those on the table. But ultimately there was no discussion about whether, dollar for dollar, how far we’re going to spread this out over the next 10 years,” said Stutzman.

“So there’s a lot of maneuvering. I felt like this was more of a get-to-know-you type of a meeting more than, let’s sit down and negotiate. So we’ve got a long way to go. But I felt that it was a good step, and I appreciated his invitation to us.”

He said there was no progress in negotiations over taxes: “As far as an out-and-out tax increase, there was no discussion about it, because I think House Republicans had made our position clear, that we don’t have a tax problem in Washington, we have a spending problem.”

Stutzman said that “good leadership” would demand that a debt limit increase is agreed to well in advance of early August, when the Treasury Department has said the U.S. would be forced to begin defaulting on debt without congressional action.

“But you know how this town works, it seems like there’s a lot of accusations,” Stutzman said. “This isn’t just a government shutdown, like we were dealing with in the [continuing resolution]. This is an economic -- there are economic ramifications here if we don’t raise the debt ceiling. But also we have to show the American people and the world that we’re serious about controlling spending.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Paul Ryan: Budget Deal a Start, More Work to Do

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., acknowledged that the 2011 budget agreement reached by Democrats and Republicans on Friday was a good first step toward improving America’s future, but he said that there’s still more to do to get Americans back to work.

“Uncertainty is keeping job creators from hiring as fast as they should be,” Ryan said in this week’s Republican address. “Businesses know that all this borrowing and spending today means higher taxes and lower incomes for their customers down the road.”

After long and hard-fought negotiations, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were able to strike a deal at the last minute, avoiding what would have been the government's 18th shutdown.

Congressional leaders agreed on a short-term Continuing Resolution to keep the government functioning through Thursday while details of a long-term deal are ironed out.

In a joint statement, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the agreement would cut $78.5 billion below President Obama's 2011 budget proposal. The short-term bridge, party leaders said, will cut the first $2 billion of the total savings.

“Republicans made a pledge that we would work to change this if given the opportunity to lead,” Ryan said, referring to the president’s spending proposal. “Since January we've been urging President Obama to listen to the people and work with us to reduce spending.”

In recent weeks, congressional leaders failed to agree on what cuts ought to be made to the federal budget, like whether or not to eliminate $363 million in federal funding to women's health care centers, including Planned Parenthood.

Some of the attention now turns to the 2012 budget. Rep. Ryan this week proposed what he called a “Path to Prosperity,” a Republican spending plan that he says “is more than just a budget.”

“This budget is a jobs budget,” Ryan said in the GOP address. “It sends signals to investors, entrepreneurs and job creators that a brighter future is still possible – a future in which America is still an engine of growth that leads the world.”

The Republican proposal would cut the budget deficit by roughly $5 trillion over the next 10 years, completely overturn the new health care law and aim to reform Medicaid and Medicare.

Alice Rivlin, a former White House budget director in President Clinton's administration who worked with Ryan on a Medicare plan, says she doesn't support Ryan's plan in its current form.

"The basic problem with the Ryan plan is that it's a spending cut only plan. It has no new revenues," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Debt On Arrival: GOP's Ryan Rips Obama's Budget

Photo Courtesy - ABC News Radio (WASHINGTON) -- Republicans like House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan didn’t want to pronounce President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal dead on arrival before it was unveiled. Now that the budget has been released, they’re calling it something else.

“Debt on arrival. D-E-B-T on arrival,” Ryan said at a press conference Monday. “Look, he raises spending everywhere. He raises taxes everywhere, increases borrowing. The trajectory of this budget is in the wrong direction. It would be better if we did nothing than actually pass this budget.”

“Our problem is we are running out of road to keep kicking this can down,” Ryan said. “And so what did we just get today? We got a punt. The president punted on the budget and he punted on the deficit and on the debt. That’s not leadership.”

The Wisconsin Republican warned that if the nation fails to tackle its growing fiscal problems soon, then a full-blown crisis awaits.

“It’s not too late to right our ship and get our economy growing, get our debt headed in the right direction, and get America’s fiscal problems solved. But if we keep postponing this, if we keep punting like this budget does, then there will come a moment when it is too late.”

“By tackling this fiscal challenge,” he said later, “we can grow the economy today, create jobs, and give our kids a better country. That’s after all what we’re supposed to be doing here. When you see our leader -- the President of the United States -- seeing this, knowing this, acknowledging it, and ducking it, that is why we’re so disappointed today.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio