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
“We need to provide for more environmentally responsible and economically sound management of our public lands,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “As we look for sustainable solutions to our fiscal challenges, the Rural Economic Vitalization Act provides a mechanism to restore our public lands while providing economic opportunities. This legislation will benefit the American taxpayer while simultaneously protecting our environment.”
“The “Security Minibus” appropriations bill the House is currently debating is completely disconnected from the realities that our country faces and the spending choices we must make. This spending package includes funding for the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Legislative Branch, Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers, agencies of the Department of Interior, and several independent agencies.
“An enormous amount of good bipartisan work has gone into the writing of this bill, and I am supporting it. Make no mistake about it: We face a complex threat environment. North Korea is testing intercontinental ballistic missiles, Russia continues to undermine not just our elections, but democracy itself across the globe, and we face a terrorist threat. These are dangers that we must be prepared to confront.
“Instead of proposing a budget that makes available the tools Americans and this country need to succeed, the Trump Administration has proposed a disastrous and ideologically-driven budget that demonstrates this President’s complete lack of interest in or understanding of the realities of governing. The President has doubled down on his earlier campaign promises, and makes clear he wants to limit the government’s ability to improve the lives of working Americans and diminish our country’s role in the world.
“House Republicans voted today to eliminate essential health benefits and protections for Americans. No one—especially not those Republicans who voted to pass it—bothered to consider the costs or the actual impacts of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on working Americans, those with pre-existing conditions, and people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was by no means a cure to all of our healthcare challenges, but today’s bill ignores any opportunity for meaningful changes, and instead represents a dangerous leap backwards.
“Our current tax code is overly-complex; there is no question it needs reexamination and overhaul. The tax proposal released today by President Trump would be disastrous. Its almost singular focus on cutting taxes for wealthy people and companies will harm working people and undermine a healthy economy.
For years, the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) and its continued threat of sequestration have negatively impacted our economy, government, and harmed our nation. The Relief from Sequestration Act of 2017 is designed to repeal the sequestration mechanism in its entirety. This bill would end the threat of automatic, draconian cuts to important national priorities.
“President Trump has outlined a fiscal agenda that will overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, and will likely set our country’s recent economic progress back decades. Rather than focus on expanding broad-based economic opportunities for every American to ensure their health and well-being, President Trump has proposed a budget outline that would result in the largest cuts to discretionary federal programs and agencies in decades.
“I am strongly opposed to the Republican plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as ‘Obamacare.’ This legislation, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), introduced earlier this month, would take health insurance away from millions of people, hurt low-income and older Americans, and create considerable uncertainty about health care and insurance.
Ninth District Congressman Adam Smith will host a Town Hall on Saturday, March 4, 2017 in Seattle. Congressman Smith is looking forward to meeting with constituents and hearing all questions and concerns.
Who: Congressman Adam Smith
What: Rep. Smith is hosting a Town Hall event where constituents can meet and interact with the Congressman and voice concerns on issues of the budget, immigration, education, the economy, national security and more.
When: Saturday, March 4, 2017, 10:00 am to 11:30 am