One of our nation’s most important challenges is growing our economy while enhancing broad-based economic opportunities for every American. I support creating a strong economy that allows all Americans to thrive, fulfill their ambitions, and provide for their families. Since the economic recession, many hardworking Americans have been pushed out of the economy because they can’t find a job or have one that doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet. Only a small percentage of Americans are sharing in economic growth and income inequality has reached heights not seen since before the Great Depression. Our nation needs a budget that is focused on expanding economic opportunity, investing in innovation and infrastructure, and creating jobs to strengthen the middle class.
In recent years, Congress has moved away from the regular order of enacting budgets and then passing twelve separate appropriations bills to fund the government. Instead it has moved towards a cycle of governing through budget crises, which have created harmful uncertainty for Americans and the economy. During the disastrous debt ceiling debate in 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which I opposed. While that legislation temporarily addressed the debt limit, it also stipulated that if Congress did not find $1.2 trillion in savings, harmful and indiscriminate cuts would take effect. These cuts were designed to be so damaging to our national defense, the economy, and other important federal programs, that Congress would be forced to act. Since then, Congress has only been able to make progress with limited-term budget agreements; particularly the two-year Murray-Ryan budget deal in 2013 that raised spending caps put in place by the earlier Budget Control Act in 2011. The Murray-Ryan budget concluded this year and a new compromise was needed.
Moving forward, Congress must eliminate arbitrary budget cuts, as I have long called for, and implement a long-term spending plan that provides certainty to our economy, the Department of Defense, and the entire federal government. That is why I introduced the Relief from Sequestration Act, to eliminate the mechanism of sequestration entirely after 2018, so Congress can come together to discuss a long-term spending and deficit reduction plan.
As the debate continues about the budget and our nation’s priorities, Congress has a responsibility to the American people to address our fiscal issues in a balanced and effective way. I will continue to work to create greater certainty for the economy with a responsible budget that supports our working families, invests in innovation and infrastructure, advances comprehensive immigration reform, and creates jobs and strengthens the middle class.
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More on Budget
“The Republicans’ final tax bill affirmed my opposition to this dangerous proposal. Today’s vote increased the deficit by a staggering $1.5 trillion, which overwhelmingly benefits the rich and corporations at a time when we are running historic deficits and wealth is concentrated at the top. This bill was so partisan and poorly constructed, and the process so lacking, that Senate parliamentary rules required provisions to be dropped at the last minute, which required the House to vote on the bill twice.
“The Republicans just reneged on their responsibility to properly fund the federal government because they were too busy giving away a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut to corporations and the wealthy. By falling back on another short-term continuing resolution, almost a quarter of year past the due date for proper appropriations bills, they have clearly demonstrated that they are not willing to do their job. Their lack of action will directly and negatively affect the people who reside in the Ninth Congressional District and across the country.
“As Republicans in Congress continue to push their reckless tax cuts, they put at risk crucial agencies and programs, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), military pensions, and Medicare. In addition to massively benefiting the wealthy and corporations, as well as reducing revenue by more than a trillion dollars, the tax bill endangers important mandatory spending priorities on which middle class and working Americans rely.
Washington, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement on passage of the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report:
“This week, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report. This legislation establishes the policies of the Department of Defense that impact our service members, their families, and our local communities.
“Our country’s federal government is already massively in debt and cannot sustain the tax cut President Trump and the Republicans are proposing. It is both bad economic and fiscal policy to be debating a $1.5 trillion tax bill at a time when we are already $20 trillion in debt and running deficits of nearly $700 billion. With deficits already projected to rise for the foreseeable future, this bill will have devastating impacts on our national debt and the priorities that the constituents of my district have made clear they support.
“The Republican tax plan released today is disastrous for American workers and middle class families. Instead of having an honest discussion about our federal budget, House Republicans are attempting to force a partisan bill that will hurt millions of middle class Americans, only to give tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us. This tax plan illustrates how far out of touch the Republicans are with the needs of the American people.
Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the release of a new report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimating that planned nuclear weapons efforts will cost about $1.2 trillion over 30 years.
“Today’s budget vote is the height of irresponsibility. The resolution passed today is not a legitimate budget. It is the vehicle for reckless tax cuts that will drive up the deficit and overwhelmingly benefit the wealthiest Americans. Tax cuts for the rich will do little to stimulate our economy or help the middle class. Since 2001, the Bush tax cuts have cost us trillions in lost revenue, and produced virtually no economic growth. Another tax cut now will only further jeopardize our economic and national security.
“We are not looking at a ’10 out of 10’ response to Hurricane Maria. Eighty percent of Puerto Rico still doesn’t have electricity, thirty-five percent of people still don’t have water, and people have been forced to get water from Superfund sites. The Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that it needs about 2,000 additional workers to get the lights turned back on, yet there are only about 200 on the ground right now.
Congressman Adam Smith
Invites you to attend his upcoming Grants Workshop
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
8:30am– 12:00 pm
The Ethiopian Community In Seattle (ECS)
8323 Rainier Ave. S.,
Seattle, WA 98118
Don’t miss this FREE opportunity to learn best practices when applying for federal grants.