More on Budget
Earlier this year, President Biden pushed his $1.9 trillion spending package, the American Rescue Plan, through Congress and signed it into law claiming it was a dire necessity because of the pandemic. However, his administration has been very slow in rolling out programs created by this massive bill despite saying it was so urgently required. Instead, they have been busy proposing more “emergency” spending, before money allocated in the previous bill has even been spent and while our economy has begun bouncing back, largely on its own.
Washington, DC – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) took to the floor of the House of Representatives today to speak in opposition of the proposed budget reconciliation ahead of the vote on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Smith voted against the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Watch Congressman Smith’s floor speech here.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose this package
Budget reconciliation is a longstanding tool intended to provide an expedited track for making changes to federal law relating to long-term budgeting. The primary purpose of reconciliation is to allow budget-related policies to pass through the Senate with a simple majority, without the need to reach a 60-vote majority to end debate. It has been used regularly under majorities in both parties to change tax policy, enact spending cuts, and to implement policies like welfare reform.
The COVID-19 pandemic cast the United States into uncharted territory. Americans were asked to take unprecedented steps in order to slow down the spread of the virus. I have supported bipartisan efforts Congress and President Trump have enacted to fight this virus and provide economic relief. However, I continue to have serious concerns about the costs associated with these bills. We have long had a spending problem, and we must refocus on addressing troubling spending patterns even while fighting COVID-19.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith released the following statement after supporting Phase III of the COVID-19 assistance negotiated by the Trump administration, known as the CARES Act:
Just a few weeks ago, we were in the midst of the strongest economy in years. We now find ourselves with questions about what will happen to our economy due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In contrast with other times of economic uncertainty, this interruption in our economy was not caused by bad decisions or nefarious actors, nor were we nearing the end of a business cycle. It was caused by a viral pandemic: a natural disaster. Though it may be painful, American resolve will bring us through this crisis.
We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Last year, federal revenue was at a near record high, yet our debt continued to increase. Despite attempts to restore fiscal order, this trend has been ongoing for years.
In 2011, Congress and President Obama brokered a bipartisan compromise to stop the bleeding. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) cut spending, capped future spending, and included no tax increases. While this bill was not perfect, it showed bipartisan resolve to address our spending crisis.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement today after voting against the Mnuchin-Pelosi budget deal:
“I cannot support a budget which raises spending this much without needed budget reforms. By lifting budget caps and raising the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts, we only push the problem to a later date without a solution.”
This budget agreement raises budget caps by $321 billion and suspends the debt ceiling until July of 2021. It passed the House by a vote of 284-149.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed legislation to provide assistance for presidentially declared disasters, including the March 2019 “bomb cyclone” which struck Nebraska. This vote came after the Senate recently voted in favor of this bill, and will now be sent to the President’s desk.
As we prepare to join our families for Christmas, I am reminded of so many things we should be thankful for. This year will be our second Christmas with our young son, Zeke. Much of what I do in Washington is motivated by a desire to leave a healthy country for coming generations to inherit.
When I listen to former President Ronald Reagan’s speeches, it is clear he was motivated by the same feelings. He always appealed for unity with a positive disposition, but he never shied away from directly addressing the American people.