Rules Committee Approves Historic Budget Agreement


Rules Committee Approves Historic Budget Agreement

Second On-Time Budget in 25 Years;
Social Security & Medicare Protected by "Safe Deposit Box"

WASHINGTON -Working late into the night, the House Rules Committee yesterday approved the floor procedures for today’s action on the House-Senate conference report on the budget, putting Congress on track to approve a $1.6 trillion federal budget by the statutory target date of April 15th.

Today, the House approved 221-205 the Rules Committee recommendation for considering the budget, only the second on-time budget in 25 years and the first in over three decades that does not use Social Security Trust Fund money to pay for other spending programs.

"This historic budget prevents trust fund monies from being raided for spending by putting Social Security and Medicare funds into a ‘safe deposit box,’" Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) said. "The bottom line is that like the American people, Congress pays attention to the bottom line - we have chosen to stay within the budget spending limits."

"This budget maintains the spending limits established in the 1997 bipartisan budget agreement, while increasing support for education, defense and farmers," Dreier said. He outlined the budget resolution, pointing out that:

  • the President’s budget cuts $11.9 billion in Medicare funding, while the Republican budget devotes $100 billion more than the President would provide to save, strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare.
  • the Republican budget maintains spending discipline in the bipartisan 1997 Balanced Budget, while the President’s budget exceeds the spending caps by $30 billion;
  • after locking away funds for Social Security and Medicare, the Republican budget returns $800 billion to working Americans in the form of tax relief, in contrast to the President's budget which raises taxes by $172 billion;
  • the Republican budget increases spending on Veterans programs by almost $1.1 billion over last year, while the President only provides $27 million in increases; and,
  • the Republican budget pays down $450 billion more in public debt than the President’s budget.