Rules Committee Sends Historic Budget to House

Rules Committee Sends Historic Budget to House

No More Trust Fund Raiding; Social Security and Medicare Protected by "Lock Box"

WASHINGTON - The House Rules Committee this evening approved the floor procedures for Thursday’s historic budget debate, as the House prepares to take up a $1.6 trillion federal budget resolution (H.Con.Res. 68) that for the first time in over three decades does not use Social Security Trust Fund money to pay for other programs.

"This budget protects Social Security and Medicare with a ‘lock box’ that prevents trust fund monies from being used for other purposes," Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) said. "Until Republicans were elected a majority in Congress, the language of budgets was deficits - now it’s surpluses. I’m very pleased this budget increases support for education, defense and farmers - while still maintaining the spending caps established in the 1997 bipartisan budget agreement."

The Committee approved procedures that will allow consideration of an amendment by Rep. Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Shadegg representing the President’s budget, and two Democratic amendments to be offered by Rep. Minge (D-MN) and Rep. Spratt (D-SC).

Dreier outlined the budget resolution, pointing out that:

  • the President’s budget cuts $11.9 billion in Medicare funding;
  • 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 resolution 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;
  • it increases spending on Veterans programs by almost $1.1 billion over last year, while the President only provides $27 million in increases;
  • it pays down $450 billion more in public debt than the President’s budget; and,
  • it devotes $100 billion more than the President would provide to save, strengthen and preserve Social Security and Medicare.