WASHINGTON, D.C. – For the first time in four years, Senate Democrats have produced a budget, yet unfortunately their spending blueprint grows the government, not the economy, Sen. Mike Lee said this morning in the Weekly Republican Address. By contrast, the budget Republicans passed in the House of Representatives this week reduces spending and debt and balances in 10 years.
“Budgets are economic documents, but they’re much more than that. Budgets reflect the moral choices we make as a nation and shape the kind of society we will build for the future,” Lee said. “We want dollars and decisions in your hands and not in the hands of bureaucrats. We know that if you can keep more of your hard-earned money, you’ll use it to help your community, to save for your child’s college tuition, and to deploy it in ways that will create jobs and grow your local economy.”
The Senate Democratic budget, by contrast, raises taxes, increases spending and debt and never balances.
“They think you don’t send enough of your money to Washington,” Lee said.
A full transcript of Lee’s address follows:
Hi, I’m Senator Mike Lee from Utah.
This week the United States Senate finally took up its annual budget. This shouldn’t be news, but Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in four years. The President has again failed to follow the law requiring him to submit his budget by the first Monday in February. In what clearly falls into the category of ‘a day late and a dollar short,’ he announced he wouldn’t submit his budget until the second week of April.
To Republicans, the budget isn’t just about dollars; it’s about sense: common sense. A budget is the only way to end the nonsense of Washington’s out of control spending. Reckless government spending has laid nearly $17 trillion of debt onto the backs of hardworking Americans.
Budgets are economic documents, but they’re much more than that. Budgets reflect the moral choices we make as a nation and shape the kind of society we will build for the future.
That’s why the budget Republicans proposed in the House of Representatives puts its trust in the American people. We want dollars and decisions in your hands and not in the hands of bureaucrats. We know that if you can keep more of your hard-earned money, you’ll use it to help your community, to save for your child’s college tuition, and to deploy it in ways that will create jobs and grow your local economy.
Democrats disagree. They think you don’t send enough of your money to Washington. The Democratic budget increases taxes by one and a half trillion dollars, on top of the hundreds of billions they already added to your tax bills at the beginning of the year.
They also have no plan to save our entitlement programs, even though everyone—even the President—knows that doing nothing to address the exploding costs of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security isn’t an option. Doing nothing makes no sense and it threatens the most vulnerable among us.
Budgets are about setting priorities. Republicans realize that we have a moral obligation to spend your hard-earned tax dollars wisely. We should spend only what we need to cover the constitutionally authorized functions of government and not a dollar more. That’s why we support reforms to fix the programs Washington should be funding, to eliminate the programs it shouldn’t, and balance the budget.
You and I know that the federal government wastes hundreds of billions of dollars each year.
We believe the President should work with Congress to identify and remove wasteful areas in the budget.
Unfortunately, the President’s strategy is instead to cut spending on important services, like border security, first responders, veterans, and law enforcement.
For example, the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently testified before a House subcommittee that for quote ‘budgetary reasons’ more than 2,200 illegal immigrants who were scheduled for deportation, including 10 high level offenders, were released back on to our streets.
At the same time, news outlets reported that the Transportation Security Administration signed a new deal to purchase $50 million worth of new uniforms.
Mr. President, how is it that we have tens of millions of dollars for new uniforms, but not even enough to keep dangerous criminals behind bars?
We could have prevented this kind of nonsense if Washington had a budget. Rather than having a budget battle between Republican and Democratic priorities, we should be having a dialogue about American priorities. So, what are those priorities?
Well, 75 percent of Americans support a balanced budget. Three out of five believe we should cut spending in a targeted way. And more than any other issue, Americans say the economy and jobs are the most important challenges facing the country today.
We have a moral obligation to future generations to make the people’s priorities, our priorities. Again, this budget debate isn’t about dollars—it’s about common sense.
Republicans recognize that keeping dollars, decisions, priorities and power in the hands of the people is what has made America the greatest civilization the world has ever known. Now is the time to return to that model. Working together we can, we must and we will restore the greatness and prosperity of our nation.
Thank you and may God bless America.
The audio of the address is available here.
The video of the address is available here.
You may download the address here.
Submitted by: Senate Republican Communications Center and the Office of Sen. Mike Lee
Email: [email protected]