Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
OZAL It's my hope that today's hearing will provide an open and honest examination of the priorities set forth by the Trump administration so we can get back to work. Passing legislation and appropriations bills that reflect the needs and priorities of the American people. I will now yield myself five minutes for an opening statement. Just six short months ago, the president signed a bipartisan. With your lights fixed, it's text. OK. Just listen now, is it all right? You hear me?
Yeah. Just six short months ago, the president signed a bipartisan two year budget deal into law. It does everything the president's proposal fails to do. It set rational, discretionary top lines, allowing strong investments in our national and economic security. It had bipartisan support, including the ranking member and myself, and it set Congress up for a successful appropriations process. But now the president is going back on his word. Instead, he is once again proposing deep cuts to critical programs that help American families and prepare our nation for the future.
Once again, he is breaking his promises and lying to the American people. Less than a week after promising Medicare and Social Security would be saved from harsh budget cuts, the president went and proposed slashing a half a trillion dollars from Medicare, knowing it would hurt seniors and cut Social Security by at least $24 billion, knowing it would hurt our nation's disabled workers. During his State of the Union address, the president said he was working to improve Americans health care.
Then he turned around and proposes cutting Medicaid by more than $900 billion, knowing it will result in families losing life-saving health care coverage. After talking up his plans to build an inclusive society by making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve, and that's a quote the president proposes slashing discretionary resources for the Department of Education by $5.6 billion disinvesting in America's students. He then proposes a one hundred and seventy billion dollar cut over 10 years to student loan programs, knowing it will make it harder for young people to earn a college degree.
The president is trying to cut nutrition assistance by more than 180 billion dollars, and that's before taking his recent meanspirited regulations into account. Knowing all along it will force more families to go hungry. In his State of the Union speech, President Trump talked about planting trees to protect the environment. You know how you protect the environment by putting people before polluters and not gutting the EPA. More than 26 percent like this budget would do. Amid the deadly Corona virus outbreak, the president gave the American people his word that his administration would, quote, take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.
That was another lie because just days later, his budget included a nearly 19 percent reduction to the Center for Disease, Disease Control and Prevention's Discretionary Budget Authority. Despite this ongoing threat. The bottom line here is that this president and his congressional Republican allies have routinely prioritized special interests and the rich and powerful over the health, safety and economic security of American families. The President's destructive and irrational budget continues that misplaced allegiance by intentionally going after working families and vulnerable Americans while simultaneously extending tax cuts and giveaways to the very wealthiest individuals and large corporations.
Over the course of the decade, the president's budget would slash non-defense discretionary funds by more than 1.5 trillion dollars. Taking a wrecking ball to America's economic future and security at the same time, it extends expiring provisions of the 2017 GOP tax law, adding more than 1 trillion dollars to the debt reality the president was unable to hide even with his fantasy growth projections. This president is asking working Americans to sacrifice their safety, their health, their economic security, their futures to cover the cost of Republicans tax scam.
It was never going to pay for itself. Well, I have come to expect shocking and unthinkable budget cuts from this administration. It never gets any easier to see our president's complete disregard for the human cost of his budget. Thankfully, with a budget already in place for 2020 and 2021 and the Senate majority leader reaffirming his commitment to the bipartisan Budget Act of 2019, I'm confident that Congress will stand firm against the president's warped vision for our nation's future. Finally, Direktor vote for obvious reasons.
There is a lot of interest in your presence here today. This is the first time you've testified since President Trump was impeached. I'm not going to rehash that entire process. But a major finding of Congress's investigations was that the administration broke federal law when OMB failed to abide by the Impoundment Control Act. That law falls squarely within the jurisdiction of the Budget Committee. So I think it is critically important that you speak to OMB adherence to the ACA today. As director, it is your responsibility, your obligation to make sure that OMB is in complete compliance with the ACA and fully respects that the Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse.
I promise that this committee will continue its vigilance and not allow the president to unilaterally substitute this budget for the bipartisan budget already in place. And I keep my promises. I look forward to hearing your testimony. I now yield five minutes to the ranking member.
I thank the chairman for holding the hearing. And I thank you. Acting director, vote for being here with us today. We're here to examine the president's budget request for fiscal 21. It is my hope that we will stay on task. I applaud the president for actually doing a budget here in the House. The Budget Committee hasn't provided a budget. Interesting to me, because our committee majority's Web site, there's a section titled Responsibility, and the first sentence in the section reads, The committee's chief responsibility is to draft an annual concurrent resolution on the budget that provides a congressional framework for spending and revenue levels, the federal surplus or deficit and public debt.
As we all know, the Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse. Funding the priorities of the American people while addressing our nation's serious fiscal challenges is no easy task. It requires a lot of collaboration, which is why hearing from the administration day is vitally important. In recent months, we've heard from the likes of the Congressional Budget Office. And just yesterday from the Federal Reserve and many other outside experts who have all consistently warned that our nation is nearing a fiscal crisis.
We ought to pay attention to those warnings. The national debt is over 23 trillion. It's projected to grow to more than 36 trillion within a decade soon thereafter. On this path, the federal debt will reach the highest level in American history as a percentage of the economy. CBO projects it by 2049, the federal debt will equal two hundred forty eight thousand dollars per American. That's almost a million dollars per family of four. From there, it only grows more interest payments on the debt.
Will increasingly crowd out other federal spending that is directed toward programs that Americans rely on. CBO projects, interest payments on the debt will amount to 382 billion in fiscal 20. That's 11 percent of federal tax revenue. We cannot continue on this path. We have to lead by example.
We have to make the tough choices necessary to reverse course. Yet here we are, the greatest nation in the history of the world, and we can't even manage to come up with something as simple as a doggone budget. But the president is doing his duty and has put forward a budget that takes steps in the right direction. I recognize that there will be others. It will push back on his plan. But at least we have a plan to look at the budget does not achieve balance within 10 years.
But the overall 10 year fiscal trajectory puts the budget on a path to balance by 2035. The President's budget reduces deficits by 4.6 trillion between 2021 and 2030, whereas under current law, deficits are more than a trillion dollars annually. And under this proposal, the annual deficit would be lowered to 261 billion by 2030. Further, this budget reduces the share of debt held by the public from 81 percent of GDP to 66 percent of GDP. Kind of like that direction.
That's a tremendous improvement from the historically high debt levels projected for 2030 under current law. The president's budget also does not breach the spending caps called for in the bipartisan Budget Act of 2019. It meets the defense spending cap and is below the nondefense discretionary cap by 37 billion for fiscal 21. Additionally, there are several priorities I'm pleased to see in this budget. First, as someone who served in the military, I believe ensuring the safety and security of the American people is probably our most fundamental purpose of the federal government.
I appreciate the Trump administration's clear commitment to this responsibility. Second, I also appreciate the administration's focus on this budget, on improving long term health of the American people by investing in measures to combat the opioid epidemic that is crippling communities across the country. Third, we've heard in this room many times that our economy is historically strong. The number of jobs available exceeds the number of people looking for work by a million. We must ensure that our workforce meets the demands of our strong economy.
Which is why I'm pleased the administration is once again investing in career and technical education. But as I've said before, the biggest threat to all of these priorities and to the long term security of our nation is our out-of-control mandatory spending. It accounts for 70 percent of all federal spending and is projected to increase to 76 percent, according to CBO. Twenty twenty nine. These programs have far outgrown their intended size and scope and they have far exceeded what we can afford.
I've said many times that we cannot have a real conversation about reducing the deficits and debt without addressing mandatory spending. The president's budget takes steps in the right direction. There's a lot of work to be done. It's imperative we work together in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion to advance a budget that funds our nation's important priorities while acknowledging our very real fiscal challenges. I look forward to the discussion today. I thank the chairman yield back the balance of my time.
Thank the gentleman for his opening statement. Now, once again, welcome I direktor vote. You have the floor and you have five minutes for yours. A prepared statement. Thank you.
Chairman Yarmuth and Ranking Member Womack and members of the Budget Committee. I'm here today to discuss the president's budget for fiscal year 2020, which we've titled A Budget for America's Future. This is a budget that reflects and builds upon the pro-growth economic policies of this president, which have unleashed one of the most powerful economies in American history. Unemployment is down across the board. People are coming back into the workforce. Wages are rising for all one case. Pensions and college savings accounts are growing.
This budget continues these economic policies. And once again provides a path for enduring economic expansion by attacking the very real problem of deficits and our nation's debt. The plan offered today proposes to balance the budget within 15 years by proposing more deficit reduction 4.6 trillion than any president in history. Under this budget, our current path of trillion dollar deficits, as far as the eye can see, will be reduced to 261 billion in 2030 with a surplus in 2035, debt as a percentage of GDP currently at 81 percent and projected to grow to 100 percent within 10 years will drop to 66 percent by the end of the 10-Year window.
But this budget is not a green eyeshades budget. It funds national priorities that this administration believes are vital for the security and prosperity of the American people. Let me give you a few examples. Seven hundred forty one billion dollars for the defense of this country. This amount comes on the heels of defense budgets of 700 billion, 716 billion in seven hundred thirty eight billion in prior years. Nuclear modernization itself or receive a nearly 20 percent increase from the last fiscal year.
At the same time, this budget also reflects at a high level an assumption that our overseas operations will require less funding. As the president works to end endless wars. The budget also makes substantial investments in border security and immigration enforcement. Ensures that every high school has a high quality career and technical education program funds NASA's return to the moon by 2024 is a platform to Mars and thereafter and grows V.A. medical care at 13 percent to fully fund the Mission Act.
It includes substantial resources to fight against the opioid epidemic and proposes a one trillion dollar infrastructure package to rebuild our roads and bridges. It also keeps the promises that President Trump has made to the American people, such as protecting Social Security and Medicare for seniors. This president is a promises made, promises kept kind of president. And this budget is no different, despite the predictable, misleading claims by many across the other side. Medicare will grow on average of 6 percent a year under this budget.
The budget does propose good government reforms to lower drug prices, root out improper payments and address wasteful spending. This budget proposes to remove from Medicare certain programs such as uncompensated care and graduate medical education, which are draining the Medicare trust fund even though they benefit more than just seniors. To be clear, these programs would still be funded outside of Medicare, but with reforms to limit their growth. Similarly, this budget proposes payment site neutrality for the same service being performed at a different health care location.
So a CAT scan costs the same as an outpatient outpatient hospital as it does as the physician office. Lowering the cost of health care is not a cut. Medicaid will grow at 3 percent, which is higher than the rate of inflation. But the program has $57 billion in improper payments last year and HHS lacks the statutory tools to recoup most of these costs. This budget would provide such authority while giving states the option of a block grant or a per capita payment.
Only in Washington, D.C. does it look at a budget that grows every year faster than inflation and says that's a cut. The budget proposes other commonsense mandatory savers, such as a universal work requirement for Medicaid, Tarnoff, housing and food stamps. This will ensure that we are helping to lift able bodied adults without dependents off of a cycle of dependency and onto a ladder of economic opportunity. In terms of discretionary spending, this budget will propose a substantial reduction similar to previous budgets.
Well, budgeting at a defense cap, under current law, this budget proposes a five percent cut. This budget continues to be a statement from this president and his administration that we stand with families and businesses across the country who have to balance their budgets. Washington, D.C. does not stand with them and for too long has operate under a different principle of recklessly spending other people's money. That has to change and hopefully this budget leads to it. Ready to take your questions?
Thank you, Mr. Vote for your opening statement. We will begin our question and answer session now. Reminder members may submit written questions to be answered a letter later in writing those questions, and then Mr. Votes answers will be made part of the formal hearing record. Any members who wish to submit questions for the record may do so within seven days as we usually do. The ranking member and I will defer our questions until the end of the hearing. And I now recognize the vice chairman of the committee, Mr.
Moulton of Massachusetts, for five minutes.
Thank you very much for being here today. I want to address my questions to that of the president's claim that this budget is good for national security, for national defense. I find that a little bit hard to believe when it conflicts so directly with the advice that he has been given by his own generals.
And as co-chair of the Future Defense Task Force on the House Armed Services Committee, I'm also particularly concerned about the address investments that China is making in R&D to develop a new generation of weapons that we are failing to match. Do you recall, Direktor, how we responded to the Sputnik moment in the night in 1957? We increased our national investment to make sure that we were prepared for our adversaries. Right. And where do we increase those investments?
We will increase them in research and development area it specifically in education and graduate school education.
And yet this budget proposes eliminating subsidized student loans. It cuts 8 percent from the Department of Education. How does that meet our next generation defense needs? If we're not doing this basic R&D, if we're not investing in the people?
Who will make the new discoveries essential for our national defense? We believe we are investing in our people in this budget. We don't believe that we are making significant reforms to education. As a result of this budget, for instance, there's a new proposal in Education BLOCK Grant to take 30 different programs that we believe can be better reformed and give states more flexibility to have better outcomes. And they know their people, they know their schools, they know their communities better.
That's an example where we think for basically the same amount of money. When you control for the fact that we're eliminating certain programs that are wasteful for the same amount of money that you all appropriated last year, we're going to have better outcomes at the state level in the area of education.
So at its best, you're saying that we'll have the same amount of money when the president claims that we're actually investing more. But what I would suggest is maybe you make those reforms first and show how you can save the money before you cut 8 percent from the Department of Education, because that is not going to help us prepare for a new generation of threats. Let me give you another example. Congress and President Johnson came together and established DARPA to deal with a new generation of defense threats, the kinds of things that in the 1960s are analogous to artificial intelligence and autonomous weapons.
China's pouring billions of dollars into today. Initial funding for DARPA was $20 million. In today's dollars. In today's dollars, that's four thousand five hundred million dollars. The president budget. The president's budget proposal is a total of four hundred fifty nine million dollars in defense, a-I R&D four hundred fifty nine million compared to four thousand five hundred. We're not meeting this threat.
When we believe we've got a substantial investment, particularly in the area of a-I and in Quantum, that we want to double these important, it's substantial unless you look at what the competition is doing.
Now, the president's former secretary of defense, General Mattis, said if you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition. Admiral Mike Mullen, who served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama, said this is a moment when more investment in diplomacy and development is needed, not less.
Darger vote. Why does this budget do the exact opposite, cutting the State Department by twenty one percent? Because there's a difference between diplomacy which we fully fund and foreign aid, which we think we have gone on too long with providing.
OK. So I was so so I was just in Vietnam. I was just in Vietnam two weeks ago, which has become a critical ally in the growing military and economic competition with China.
What I heard from our military officers, our military officers and from Vietnamese officials on the ground is that they want to be with us. They want to be with America, not with authoritarianism. But our diplomatic and development effort is not keeping pace with China's belt and road initiative. So. They're asking for more development money. Are military officers on the ground? You're doing the exact opposite. I mean, it does. Does President Trump know more than our military officers on the ground, more than General Mattis and adderal Mon.
We tripled the funding for the Development Finance Corporation that you just enacted into law specifically so we can compete with China. We have an Indo-Pacific strategy in which countries of which you've already mentioned would also benefit. But we think it's high time that we get out of the situation where we pay for statutes to Bob Dylan in Mozambique and other wasteful spending across the well director vote.
I think that the president ought to spend some time on the ground in Vietnam. I know he doesn't believe in that personally. He was happy to send someone else in his place, but it might teach him a little bit about what development and diplomacy does for our military. Gentlemen's time is expired. Now recognize the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Johnson, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You know, some sometimes these lines of questioning just appear to me to be very uninformed.
When did the Sputnik challenge occur? Late 50s, early 60s?
When did we put a man on the moon? Late 60s. When did the Department of Education come into being? Late 70s. Yeah. Seems to me we're pretty smart people. We learned how to solve a lot of problems. The light bulb. Nuclear energy. Space travel. Overcoming the Soviet threat. And we did it without help from Washington bureaucrats on how to educate our kids. I applaud what the president's doing. Mr. Vote. Thanks for being here today.
You know, we saw the president's budget. It's a first important step in addressing the federal spending issue. I look forward to discussing the president's budget. And I hope working with my colleagues here to address our nation's unsustainable fiscal path and ensuring that our economy remains strong. Over the last few days, I've heard a lotta criticism from my Democrat colleagues about the president's budget, how it's a blueprint for destroying America, and that budgets are more than just physical documents.
They are a reflection of our values. Even the speaker of the House has said the budget is a statement of our values. I find these statements ironic and quite frankly, hypocritical. If my colleagues truly believe that a budget is a reflection of our bio used than they should produce a budget proposal of their own. Why is this the second year that the House Democrats have not produced a budget? Why did they not produce a budget the last time they had control of the house?
If, as they say, it is a reflection of our values. I don't get that. One of my Democrat colleagues even called the president's budget proposal a declaration of war on the American dream, I would like to respectfully remind my colleagues that the president's budget proposal is just that, a proposal. And I'm grateful that the president's budget is forcing us to have a discussion that many of my colleagues don't want to have. There is no question that federal spending is out of control.
Medicare and Social Security are on a path to insolvency. And our congressional budget process is broken. As members of this committee, we must come together and find a bipartisan solution to solve these critical problems. The president submitted his budget to Congress. Now it's time for Congress to produce a budget. Today, we're here to discuss the president's 20 21 budget proposal, which includes reforms of mandatory spending programs, key investments in national security funding, and a commitment to eradicate waste in government spending.
More importantly, it provides for important in overdue investments in rural America, a region of the country that I represent as a representative of rural eastern and southeastern Ohio. I'm happy to see that the president's budget is investing in rural communities, communities that are facing serious challenges, like the need for rural broadband and greater access to health care. Mr. Vogt, can you tell me and our colleagues how the president's budget is investing in rural America? Specifically, how would invest in telecommunications infrastructure to better provide greater access to broadband in rural states?
Sure, I would. Thank you, Mr. Johnson. I would draw your attention to two things in particular. Number one, the infrastructure package as a whole is something that we believe is going to have a substantial investment in rural America. That infrastructure package is a 10 year reauthorization at higher levels of the current formula for highway spending. But it also includes 190 billion dollar surge to be able to deal with nationally significant areas, rural America, broadband, things of that nature.
And we continue to provide high levels of funding for the broadband initiative at the Department of Agriculture. We have another significant a $250 million investment this year. That's on top of about $1.8 billion that's sitting there waiting to be spent of carryover. So we are we are providing as much money as can be spent in that important area.
Well, you know, last week we passed legislation here in the House to repeal the pre-funding mandate that has cost to the postal service. An average of 5.4 million postal service. Enroll America is another very, very important service that that our people need. Can you discuss how the budget, the president's budget helps puts the postal service on a physically sustainable path to avoid a taxpayer bailout and protecting the benefits earned by postal workers?
Yeah, it's something we've considered in previous budgets and is reflected in this as well. At the high, high level, we want to make sure that the post office has while maintaining service to rural America. We want to be able to give them the tools that are necessary to cut costs and to have flexibility to operate as much as a normal business as possible. If you look at postal reform over the last 30 or 40 years, the hope was that the post office in the 1970s, early in the 1970s, would be freed up to come as close to operating as a business as possible.
Unfortunately, that has not been the case. And to the extent that there have been bailouts, that's been unfortunate. We're trying to continue to put reforms included in this budget to be able to get them on a better firm foundation going forward.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. You bet. Jonas Dime is expected now. Recognize the gentleman from New York, Mr. Jeffries, for five minutes.
Thank you. This thing was chair for your leadership and for yielding Mr. VORP prior to you assuming your current position of working at the Office of Management and Budget. You were a conservative political operative. Is that right?
I both worked on Capitol Hill in this committee. I grew up professionally working for a number of the members who served on this committee as a as a budget staffer. And I have a great fondness and affection for this place. I also did work at the Heritage Foundation and getting people involved in the political process. OK.
As vice president of Heritage Action, is that correct? That's correct. And that's the political wing of the Heritage Foundation.
True. It's the arm of Heritage Foundation that gets people involved in the political process.
OK. I'm interested in trying to get some clarity as to reconciling the public statements that President Trump has made relative to his budget and policy priorities versus what's actually in the document that he submitted to this. Congress on February 8th, President Trump tweeted, We will not be touching your Social Security or Medicare in fiscal 2021 budget. Is that correct? He did say that. But the 20 21 budget, in fact, would result in a five hundred billion dollar cut to Medicare over a 10 year period.
That is not true. It does not cut Medicaid, Medicare or Medicaid.
OK. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and looks like a duck, it's a duck. It's a five hundred billion dollar cut to Medicare over a 10 year period of time. Now, the president's budget also cuts Social Security disability by $24 billion.
True, the budget has reforms to the disability insurance program to ensure that people are getting off of a cycle of dependency and getting back into the workforce when they can get jobs in the national economy.
Right. And that will result in a 24 billion dollar cut. Correct. Now, we don't believe it will reduce a cut. We believe that there are savings to be had from getting people back to work. It's also seven billion dollars in improper payments and the disability insurance program. And that is reflected in our budget. But there's there's no cuts there.
OK, if we can stick to facts as opposed to alternate facts, that would be helpful. During the president's State of the Union address, he stated, I have made an ironclad pledge to American families. We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions. Did he make that statement? He did. And he believes it. And this budget reflects it. There's nothing in the 20 21 budget that protects individuals with preexisting conditions.
True. There is a health care allowance that reflects a future proposal that is not reflected in this budget to the degree of specificity. But this president has proposed continues to propose reclaiming my time.
Mashal particular question with precision. Does this budget support the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?
The budget has a serious I know the budget has a series of reforms with regard to health care reform that tackles some of the drivers, some of which were created as a result of the Obamacare law that was passed 10 years ago. But we believe Medicaid will continue to grow at 3 percent and Medicare will grow at 3 percent, 6 percent.
Is the president currently in court through his Department of Justice supporting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional? Yes, I know.
The Justice Department has is involved. Our view is that we want the court to work its will on a law that's long been viewed as unconstitutional. But that doesn't mean that no matter what happens in the court, that this administration won't respond with a clear repeal and replace a piece of legislation as we have had specifics in previous budgets. There's nothing in this budget that proposes a replacement for the Affordable Care Act that the Trump Department of Justice is trying to declare unconstitutional.
Is that correct?
That's not true. There is a there is a health care allowance that is meant to look forward to a repeal and replace piece of legislation that fully protects individuals with preexisting conditions.
Okay, that's inaccurate. But let's move on. President Trump repeated a campaign promise recently that Mexico would be paying for a wall on the southern border. He says Mexico is, in fact, you will soon find out, paying for the war. Did you make that statement in January? He had he has made that statement.
I think if you look at the what mess Mexico is doing.
What does your butt. I'm sorry. Reclaiming my time. Does your budget proposals, $2 billion in American taxpayer money for the border wall along the u.s.-mexico border?
It continues to propose money for the border wall along the southern border. We believe Mexico is doing a tremendous job in allowing and helping us deal with the apprehensions along the southern border. Unfortunately, they've had to come up and step up to the. Well, thank you.
Reclaiming my time. Just simply, you know, the president's budget is a living, breathing. Fact check on all of the public lies that he's told relative to his policy priorities. And that's shameful. I yield back.
My time has expired. And I recognize the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Smith, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, acting director, for being here. Let's let's look at some facts real quick. And it's reminded, listening to my colleague ask you questions. You're the budget acting director, I think, of the number 3 0 to 302. What do you think that is? You have any idea? I don't know if it's a trick question, but I think in terms of an allocation, but that's maybe because I'm from this committee.
No, it's how many days have expired since the Democrats have failed to produce a budget from last year? Three hundred two days ago, Congress was supposed to pass a budget. We didn't pass a budget. But you know what? Sixty three is a no no. Sixty three is another number we need to pay attention to. That's how many days we have to pass this year's budget. Let's see if we can do either one of them. You work for a gentleman who has presented a budget every year that he was required to present.
I serve with the Democrats who have failed to even file a budget. Since they have been in the majority every year. That the Republicans were in control, we passed a budget. Out of this very committee. In fact, the Republicans have a budget right now. The president submitted a budget. Just file a budget. Just put it on paper. It's so funny. I laughed. Started this week. The leader of the House Democrats, Speaker Pelosi, reiterated on Twitter.
On Sunday, the budget is a statement of your values. Just Sunday. The budget is a statement of your values. And then yesterday in a press conference, she says it's the heart. And it's the beginning of all things that start out in Congress. Well, I guess we can't start because the other side can't file a budget. Just file a budget. Show us your values. You're speaker. Says that a budget is a statement of your values.
I just wonder, I mean. Don't they have values? Don't they have initiatives? Maybe it's because they don't want the American public to know exactly what their plans are. What their proposals are. What their budget is. More than half of the Democrats on this very committee. Are sponsors of the Green New Deal and Medicare for all? That needs to be in your budget. If you had a budget. But guess what? That would cost over one hundred and twenty trillion dollars.
That's why you can't get a budget, because you don't want the American people to see how out of touch you are. Since our country has been around, our national debt is 22 trillion and growing. Just there, two main proposals that they are campaigning on. In New Hampshire and Iowa and now South Carolina. Costs more than one hundred and twenty trillion dollars. The American people are on to you. That's why you won't file a budget. We serve on this budget committee, I want to see your values if you have them.
So, Mr. Vole, don't you think that this committee should present a budget and pass it so it can go on to the floor of the House? I do it honestly saddens me that to the extent that the House of Representatives have stopped doing budget resolutions when I was serving in this important body, that was something that was a staple.
Every year, that majority and minority would put forward alternatives that would have debated in March and we'd be able to see where do the members of this chamber put their values?
We need to see the values. I want to tie on to something that was asked to you in the prior questioning about preexisting conditions. The president was very clear. He's very clear every time he speaks at a rally that he wants to protect preexisting conditions.
Just because you want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with effective health care legislation, you can do that. And we will do that by protecting people with preexisting conditions. It's not an all or nothing approach. We want to get rid of the garbage of Obamacare and replace it with a great health care plan that protects preexisting conditions. Thank you for being here. Doorman's time has expired and I recognize the gentleman from New York. Mr. Higgins provided. Thank you, Mr.
Chairman, just for the record. There is only one federal law that protects people with pre-existing conditions and see Affordable Care Act. The president is trying to gut the Affordable Care Act through the federal courts. And if he succeeds, there will be no law existing that protects people with preexisting conditions. That is a fact, sir, in 2017 with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act. We were told in a letter by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that the result of that action would yield four to nine thousand dollars per American household on a recurring basis.
Has that occurred and will it occur?
Since the president took office, we've had six thousand dollars in disposable income for families on average so far just from the tax cuts. Only a few years into it, we're at two thousand dollars of disposable income. That's a substantial savings of people allowing being able to keep their own hard earned money when it it 6000 or two thousand.
Six thousand has the disposable income from the economic agenda and the economic boom of this president.
Since I don't understand what that means, I'm try to explain it to you. It's six thousand since the president took office. There are many things that's contributing to the economic boom that we are seeing. Everything from the deregulatory initiative to, you know, investment in investment, confidence in the economy.
These are leading to real results in people's pocketbooks of the tax cut alone. Two thousand dollars is what is materialized thus far. And we believe it's it's going to get up to the 4000 dollar level for sure.
What about the forty nine recurring every year? We believe that there will be significant savings along those lines. And I don't believe broken families. I don't believe you pocketbooks. I don't believe you. We were also told that these tax cuts would pay for themselves. So they paid for themselves.
We are on track for the economic agenda of this president to pay for the costs of this tax cut. And that's the fully loaded costs of both the original score from CBO. That's the cost of the extension and that's the debt service costs.
Are you familiar with the economist Mark Zandi, IDM? Would you characterize him? Is a conservative economist? Not really. Who did he?
Did he advise Democrats or Republicans?
Presidential commie Congressman John McCain. Generally viewed as a credible conservative economist with Moody's Analytics, he had said that the tax cuts of 2017 for every dollar that you give away. You can hope to reclaim 32 cents. That's a 68 percent loss on an investment. So tax cuts don't pay for themselves. And because tax cuts don't pay for themselves. We win from an annual budget deficit of 600 billion dollars to more than a trillion dollars. And it's projected that we will take in one trillion dollars less than we spend for this year and the out years moving forward under because tax cuts don't pay for themselves.
In the 36 months of this presidency, there's been an increase in three trillion dollars to the national debt. That's because tax cuts don't pay for themselves, because tax cuts don't pay for themselves. You have a Medicare cut of five, seven hundred and fifty six billion dollars over 10 years. You have a Social Security cut of 24 billion dollars. You have a Medicaid cut up to nine hundred and twenty billion dollars. Cancer research has been cut. The Commune Development Black Ram program has been eliminated.
The National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities has been eliminated. Low income energy assistance has been eliminated. Educational grants had been eliminated. Let me just also, you brought up infrastructure. Your infrastructure program is weak and pathetic. The president promised a two trillion dollar infrastructure bill. What we need to do that's equivalent in the last 10 years to what we spent rebuilding the roads and bridges in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those nations are approximately 35 million people. Everything we build for them, they destroy.
We should nation build at home. So I would encourage you to encourage the president to fulfill the obligation that he made to do it. True. 2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill. And it's not just the bricks and mortar of infrastructure. It's the growth that would occur because the same economies that I referred to before, Mark Zandi, a conservative economist, had said that for every dollar that you spend in infrastructure, you can expect to recapture in future economic growth about a buck 60.
The return on investment for infrastructure. Vestment is about 60 percent. I would encourage you to review the infrastructure proposal here and consider making changes with it on your back.
Gentleman's time is expired. And now recognize the gentleman from Utah, Mr. Stewart, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and acting director. Thank you for being here. Thank you for what is clearly a tough job. I'm going to wax poetic here for a minute. I'm going to quote something I think everyone here will recognize. This is from a great president, Theodore Roosevelt. He said it is not the critic who counts, nor how the man points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to he who is actually in the arena. For heaven's sakes, it's easy to sit upon this dihs and criticize an effort, but if you're not doing that thing yourself. Then you have no position, you have no authority in a real way to criticize the effort of this president. If you don't have a budget, you haven't stated your values. Again, it's easy to sit up here and to criticize and pack like a chicken along the ground.
But that's all you're doing because you haven't done the work. You're not in the arena saying what you all would do. You're just sitting on the sidelines and saying and criticizing what others have done. You know, there's one other thing. The benches. It's a serious effort, it should be bipartisan at least as much as it can be. And I get it. I understand that there's a debate over these issues and there always has been and there probably always will be.
We are, I think, can agree that we're trying to do the same thing. We're trying to provide for our national defense, for equal justice and for the common good. And I again, I get it that the debate over those details can be contentious.
But when the language is so over, the top is so contentious. Most Americans don't believe it. If you accuse the president of actually targeting senior citizens as if he hates them and wants to deliberately, deliberately hurt them, most Americans don't believe that. If you accuse the president of targeting the poorest and the most vulnerable among us. As if the president hates them and actually wants to deliberately hurt them, most Americans don't believe that. And when you couch every detail or every disagreement as if it's a lie.
Whereas if it's pathetic. Most Americans think that's incredibly divisive and they don't accept it. And that's much of what we've heard here today. From those who won't do the work themselves, who sit on the sidelines and criticize and say things that are so over the top and outrageous, most Americans think. I don't think that sounds true to me. I don't think the president actually wants to hurt the poor and the elderly. Now, maybe if you just hate the president so badly, you actually believe that s there's a few people who do that.
Some of them were sitting up here, but most Americans don't feel that way. I'd like to ask you something now regarding anything. I think this is a key item to most of what you're you're presenting here today. We spend eight hundred billion dollars annually on more than 90 anti-poverty programs. What is the measure of success? How do we know if we're doing a good job at that? Is it by how much money we spend? Have we done better if we are enrolled more and more and more people on these programs?
Or is it better for us to measure that by saying, hey, you know what? We've provided jobs for people. We've provided an access for them into the middle class, lifting them out of poverty and then and allowing them a ladder for it. Mr. Vogt, what do you think? How should we measure the success of these programs? It's $800 million that we spend.
We believe in outcomes. We believe in measuring what we're doing based on the results that they have as opposed to figuring out how much from year to year we're spending as a dollar amount.
Washington, D.C., for far too often wants to say what's the dollar amount and makes? That's the sacrosanct value for how you're doing with regard to your commitment. But I would take an example of of education, for instance, and respond to an earlier question and say we're providing 50 billion dollars in tax incentives for additional education at the state level. In addition to what we're providing for the Department of Education, we believe that's a reflection of our values as well.
But if you look at it from a green eyeshades perspective here in D.C., it's just a revenue reduction and it's anything but that.
Well, and that's the point. And, you know, I think the success of these programs should be determined by Americans graduating off these programs, providing an economy where they have the dignity of work. And the self-satisfaction that comes from improving their lives rather than just dependence on the federal government. Sometimes generational and my time is almost up. And now we'll continue with those who again aren't in the arena, haven't put a budget for themselves, and they will continue to criticize you and the present for the work that you've done.
But we're grateful for that. The American people are very grateful as well. Thank you. I yield back.
Yeoman's time has expired. And now recognize the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Boyle, for five minutes. Thank you to the witness for being here. And thank you, Mr. Chairman. Here we go again. A couple of years ago, three years ago now, we sat here debating the massive Republican tax cut. A number of us on this side of the aisle pointed out that this was actually step one in a three step plan. Step one cut taxes mostly for the top 1 percent to the tune of one and a half to two trillion dollars.
Step two, that would, of course, spike the deficit, spike the debt. And then step three. This White House and our Republican friends would come back, say, my God, there is a deficit and a huge debt problem. We need to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. Step one happened, the massive Trump tax cut. Eighty three percent of which went to the wealthiest 1 percent was passed. Step two is happening. We have the fastest growing deficit in an expanding economy in American history.
And now here we are with step 3, massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, education, SNAP, transportation funding, etc.. I want to focus since a number of my colleagues are focused on the massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, since I am co-chairman of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Caucus. I do want to focus on that program specifically. But first, before I get to that, just in terms of student loan spending generally.
Let me read from a report from CNBC just yesterday.
Quote, As student debt continues to climb, President Trump on Monday released a budget for 2021 that would slash many of the programs aimed at helping borrowers. Student loan spending would be cut by one hundred seventy billion dollars in Trump's plan. One of those areas that would be cut, forget, cut, eliminated is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. This was a bipartisan achievement actually signed into law in 2007 by George W. Bush. How in the world does cutting student loans by one hundred and seventy billion dollars and eliminating the public service loan forgiveness program in any way help families afford and pay for college?
Bearing in mind that right now we just hit the overall mark of one point seven trillion dollars in total debt in terms of all the student loans owed by every American combined. That is a major threat to our economy. So here is a budget that would take that situation and make it far worse.
It's totally untrue. Congressman?
This budget, Giambi's Reclaiming My Time and CNBC report is untrue about cutting $170 billion of our savings for one hundred and seventy billion dollars from saving, validating they've rams into one new press.
Most normal Americans would call cut. No, no, because we're replacing it with an income driven debt repayment plan over tiso 30 and reclaiming reclaiming my time since we're time limited for those at home. Any time anyone from Washington talks about savings. Hold onto your wallet. The savings are coming from you. Let me specifically focus, though, back to the public service loan forgiveness program. I mentioned that I'm co-chair, I've a Republican co-chair, Mr Joyce of Ohio.
This is a program that has had bipartisan support going back to its beginning in 2007. Why did you decide to just flat out eliminate it?
Because we don't want to pick winners and losers. And we were replacing it with a income driven repayment plan that the president has had in every single one of his budgets that he.
Reclaiming. Reclaiming my time. Reclaiming my time. What do you think this will do to those who have decided to enter public service, who forego higher salary in the private sector, have taken on a time of student debt, and now here you are eliminating the loan forgiveness program that they signed up. They'd be eligible for the new program that this budget and this administration has been been proposing for four years.
So finally, with just 30 seconds left, let me say, yes, it is true. A budget is a statement of one's priorities. We see the priorities of this administration, massive tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent paid for by cuts to ordinary Americans. I yield back. Gentleman's time has expired. Now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Floras, for five minutes. So thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Robert, you didn't really have a chair or direct row. She didn't really have a chance to respond to the questions regarding the student loan program. Would you like to expand? So the Demirjian people get the true story of what the president's proposing in terms of coming up with a more efficient, more fair student loan program.
Happy to. This administration, this budget is put forward to income driven student loan repayment plan that would allow students after 15 years to have debt relief.
But in that 15 years, they would pay a set amount of their monthly income towards debt repayment at twelve and a half percent of their income for 15 years. And for graduate students, it would be relief. After 30 years, we consolidate a number of programs to be able to provide that program. And we think that will lead to more simplicity for student borrowers. And instead of having many different programs out there and trying to figure out what's the best one for them, we'd have the opportunity to have one simple 15 year debt relief plan for students.
This is what the president ran on. It's been in every one of his budgets. Right.
And so in this particular situation, to address the claims that were made by the last questioner, if you had somebody decide to go into public service and selected us, you know, in lower income level, then in that particular situation, this loan repayment plan would automatically address that would they would be eligible for this new plan.
Okay. And one of the things that the president's proposed in his budget, I think is pretty wise, because all the health care providers in my district, particularly the hospitals, have talked about the shortage of medical professionals. And so the president's budget proposes to move to to pull graduate medical education out of the Medicare part of the budget. Can you explain that logic for that? Because it sounds perfectly reasonable to me based on what I'm hearing from real world America.
This is an example of where we're going to still commit to graduate medical education, but we don't want the Medicare Trust Fund to be drawn down from it.
We don't want it to increase the insolvency of Medicare as a result of a program that benefits far beyond today's seniors, and it helps a vast majority of the country and hospitals across the nation. So this is an example where we take it out of Medicare and we allow it to grow each and every year, just not at the same level of Medicare and medical inflation.
OK. And then you've done the same thing with uncompensated care as well. And so the net result of both of these is to strengthen the Medicare trust fund, is that correct? Absolutely. And so Americans that are on Medicare near Medicare are actually better off because of this, because the present taken two things that aren't really part of Medicare and pull them out and allow Medicare to be more self-sustaining.
So I guess, you know, one of the things you hear is that this word cuts a lot.
So the what is the Medicare spending level in the 10th year versus the the near year? And you're in the president's budget.
Medicare will grow 6 percent on average each and every year in this president's budget. Okay. There is no cuts to Medicare whatsoever. Okay. So grow is not a cut.
And so to the extent that anybody uses were word cut when the dollars are higher in the outyear than there in the Narrier, then they're just they're not being truthful with the American people. Is that correct?
That's correct. And we extend the Medicare trust fund solvency by at least 10 years.
We do have assumptions that provide for lower prescription drugs. We thought that that was a bipartisan priority to have a better health care at lower costs. And we just don't think that's a hard road.
Thanks for your answers to set the record straight on these important issues. And I yield back the balance my time. DOMA's time's expiring now recognize the gentleman from California, Mr. Carna, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Representative Langevin yesterday at HASC asked for people to testify about the president's defense budget. He was told that witnesses had been directed by you explicitly not to speak to the president's budget requests. This has never happened in the history of Congress, whether it was President Reagan, President Bush. Can you explain why you gave an illegal directive obstructing Congress to tell witnesses not to testify?
I didn't. Are you claiming that your office did not give that directive? We typically like to have this OMB testimony be the first testimonies. That may be what you're referring to. But in terms of not allowing agency heads to speak about the president's budget, that's not true.
So it's your testimony that you completely are okay with having agency heads testify and that the witnesses yesterday, if they implied that you were OMB, had instructed them not to do so, are lying certain, not lie?
My my gut is that they are reflecting the reality that we want the OMB testimony here in the House Budget Committee to be the first set of testimony on behalf of the president's budget and then the lead agency head to go from there. That's my guess is what they were referring to. But the idea that we would not want agency heads to go to the Hill and talk about the president's budget is not true.
Did you tell them in any time that not to talk to the committees until you did? I'm sure we had communication with agencies along those lines, but I I certainly didn't.
I'm sure like as I've said, we provide guidance to agencies that says we don't want agency heads to go up to the Hill until we have an opportunity to come before this committee.
Going forward, now that you have, you will be completely fine with agency heads going to horse.
It's a vital aspect of this process. In terms of the president wanting to lower drug costs. What is your view on H.R. Bill Three and whether that would do that?
We have concerns with that piece of legislation. We put out a statement of administrative policy against it. We appreciate the desire, the intent to lower drug prices. But our Council of Economic Advisers looked at that piece of legislation and said it would lead to shutting down a third of the innovative drugs that are in the pipeline. CBO didn't have numbers quite as large as that, but they also said that there would be an impact on innovation. So, look, we want to get to the same place that you all are in terms of lowering prescription drugs.
We would love to have a bill on the president's desk. This is one of the areas of bipartisan work that we would want to endeavor to pursue. It's one of the reasons why we've had in this budget in years past. We provide a lot of specificity in this budget. We provide a general allowance to be able to have the House and the Senate work its will with us not providing new proposals.
And as a president, I have a plan. I mean, is rejecting our plan as he offered a plan of what he would support.
We've certainly offered plans in the past, things like having a price cap in Medicare Part B, reforming the Medicare Part D, plan to put a catastrophic cap for seniors and to change some of the disincentives. Some of those proposals are reflected in H.R. three. But we are very concerned to the extent that we don't want to fall on the other side of the balance of impacting innovation. I would just say, as the father of someone, that of a child that has cystic fibrosis is about to go on to medication.
That is a disease halting that kind of groundbreaking, innovative prescription drugs is what we want to make sure that future kids. I think we all all want to do that. I just want to have access to in the future. I think we all want to do that on infrastructure. There there's been a sense that the president wants to work with us. We've gone. The speaker is gone. The Senate leader is gone. They agree on doing an infrastructure bill.
And then two days later, nothing happens because there's no agreement by the president on how to pay for it. We are going to be working on an infrastructure bill that the House Democrats will propose. Will the president be committed to actually passing it and offering pay for's through the Senate with it?
Congressman, I think your question actually reveals the problem with where we are in infrastructure, which is that we want to pay for it by providing spending cuts and reforms.
You all every time we try to have a conversation about infrastructure, the expectation is that we're going to roll back the president's tax increase, a tax cut. We're not going to do that. We're not going to have anything that raises taxes on this.
Just one final quick follow up. A, why wouldn't you be willing to just fund infrastructure, which actually would lead to 3 percent economic growth? I mean, why are you insist you didn't have all pay for is on your tax cuts? And the economists agree infrastructure actually was a great relief to growth. So why doesn't the president just commit he's going to do a infrastructure bill.
He has committed to doing an infrastructure bill. There's a trillion dollar infrastructure package in this budget resolution. It's continues to be a priority. And we've put forward savings along those lines because infrastructure has been something that's been paid for. But we are we we're providing 4.4 and in spending reductions and deficit reduction that could be used for potential pay for us.
Gentleman's time has expired. Now recognize the gentleman from South Carolina, Mr. Norman, for he was chairman. Thank you for appear today.
You know, some of these comments I've sat here and listened to the last 45 minutes were really amazing.
One, it caught my eye was that my friend from the laughter saying blue fruit blueprint for financial disaster.
Do you live in a house? I do. What if I. And I'm a contractor. I'm a builder. We build things. I'm probably deplorable. Drive pickups, Bibles, guns.
We cling to what if I came to you and said, want to build your house? What would you ask for?
How much? And a blueprint. I couldn't come to you. And you sound to build your house. You'd say, where are the plants? What? Where's the blueprint? Congressman Stewart's an accomplished pilot. What if I came to him and just said, I want you to learn to fly a plane? He would have a right to say what kind of plane? Give me some. No, I just want you to fly a plane. That's what my friends from the left are asking the American people to believe.
We had a budget two and a half years. Let me tell you some other things.
You know, they're and free medical care. Put it don't pay for what's the cost. Unless doctors are willing to work for free, which I don't think they are.
Free college education has been mentioned. Of professors, particularly tenured professors, not gonna get a salary.
Put it on paper lists, see what it calls free housing. I've heard. Put it on paper and see what it cost. Somebody has to pay for open borders is one of the cuts.
And I just heard this yesterday on one of the cuts. The my so-called friends on the left are saying is that if you come into this country and can't speak English, then you're disabled. If you heard that it is one of the qualifying factors right now within the disability insurance program that we're trying to reform, how dumb is it?
If you can't come into this country speaking with you, you're entitled to all the benefits of this country because you can't speak the American. You can't speak English. The American people are owed to it and they get it.
Tax cuts don't pay for themselves.
I think we've got a growing economy that had the likes we haven't seen in since this president took office the previous eight years. King can't boast the numbers that we're boasting. All that tax cuts don't pay for themselves. All that is, is code language. The taxpayers are too dumb to spend their own money. Let unelected bureaucrats in my liberal friends spend it for you. That's why you hear the socialist programs that are coming up. So I applaud you for defending this budget.
You've at least got a budget. And I would ask, you know, for us, we've got 60 some days to come up with a budget. Own in-play, own paper. Defend what you're promising the American people, which they are simply not doing.
Could you go into some more? You haven't been allowed to finish many of your answers. Could you elaborate more on some of the claman, as always? Do. Cuts in Social Security, gutting Medicare, gutting Medicaid. Can you go into some more examples of where this just is untrue?
Sure. There's just no cuts to Social Security and Medicare. The president's commitment to seniors is fully reflected in this budget. We reform Medicare. It grows at 6 percent. What we mean by reforms, though, is lowering the cost of health care.
One hundred thirty five billion dollars in savings in prescription drugs for lower costs to seniors. That shows up as a savings, but it's not a cut in any way.
But they classified as a cut because I don't want anything to change. S Why not put it on paper to having a budget military? What would go into it? Some of the dollars where it's being spent because this is something really to brag about from the Trump administration.
Fourth year of high defense spending $741 billion. Fully consistent with the budget agreement that was recently passed within that top line. We have a 20 percent increase to the NSA to make sure nuclear modernization continues to be going forward on track. So we really went big in that area. We continue to have 44 new ships over the next five years within a defense program. We invest heavily with regard to R&D to make sure some of the concerns to be able to compete with our adversaries are fully funded.
So this continues what the president promised to the American people to rebuild our defenses. And that will we're not we didn't. We want to make sure those continue to grow up in the out years.
It's called looking that for the taxpayers dollars. You're looking at them and looking at everything is return low investment. What is the taxpayer getting for the dollars he's putting in? Well, I applaud you for it. I don't think, as has been implied, granny is not going over the cliff. What we are gonna do if we don't get a hold of this 22 trillion dollar deficit, which is the cruelest tax on future generations, then we are leaving our children and grandchildren over a cliff.
That's unfair. It's un-American. And thank you for what you're doing for this country. And we appreciate you back.
Gentleman's time is expired. And now recognize the gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. Price, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Rector, welcome to the committee. I ask a quick question first to clear up a little of the rhetoric we've heard this morning, but then turned to a more substantive inquiry. The last year, our Republican friends were in the majority. That would be 2018. Did they or did they not bring up fiscal 2019 budget resolution to the House floor for a vote?
I don't recall. Cartman, the answer's no. The answer is no. It's critically important that we all recognize the influence that OMB has, not only over the president's budget requests that are sent to the Congress, but over the administration of funding that is provided by the Congress. That's what I want to ask you about. I won't ask you about important investments in infrastructure and disastrous systems that Congress hasn't acted and the president signed into law regarding Puerto Rico and other areas devastated by natural disasters.
Congress has already registered its frustration with the Department of Housing and Urban Development over repeated miss deadlines and a refusal to move this much needed funding out the door. But this isn't just about HUD, as HUD officials have been very quick to tell us. It's also about OMB as the director of OMB. You're responsible for the prudent execution of these plans, and in fact, you're required by law to make sure the funds are made available to HUD. So I want to ask you two related questions.
First, why the demonstrated need for this funding in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and your statutory mandate to provide these funds to HUD? As OMB refused to apportion the funding as immediately available for obligation. And secondly, HUD has provided testimony saying that OMB has purported to curtail their ability to even request this funding be made available to HUD. Is this true? Have you done this at the president's direction with regard to Puerto Rico? OMB has no authority in law or anywhere else to control what an agency requests or they should request in the first place.
Do you really disagree with that, Congressman?
With regard to Puerto Rico, 90 billion dollars is projected to be spent to help the people of Puerto Rico recover from the hurricanes from a few years ago.
Given the situation politically in there, in there, in that territory where there's rampant corruption.
You had an administration that had to resign, a governor that had to resign, because maybe we do have an inspector general's report.
We don't have to just rely on your word for it. And is it is it not true that that actually the the finding came up, that the the the administering agency in Puerto Rico was was was not rapide corruption? Quite the contrary that they operated according to normal procedures. Yes. And anyway, that's not what I'm asking you. I'm not asking for your personal judgment about the government of Puerto Rico. I'm asking about your authority and the way you've exercised your authority.
So these are very specific questions. Sure.
We operate with agencies on things like funding notifications. In this case, with CBG, we had to implement the statute, which has never been authorized by Congress. So the Congress set up a new appropriate and new statute for mitigation funding. And then just left the agency on its own and said, oh, implement it however without any.
And I'm sorry, go on. There are many, many programs that are authorized. That's a red herring, not new ones at that level.
This this we we need CBG d.r authorization and now we're hoping that our friend Mitch McConnell will agree with that. We've passed it here in the House. But my question has to do with with the testimony. Let me just move directly to that. The testimony of HUD that you haven't even authorized them to request the funding. This is duly appropriated funding, a bill signed by the president.
We are apportioning everything that HUD needs to be able to move forward with the CBG funding. We provided the initial 1.5 billion that was tranced out and then another 8.2 billion for unmet needs. We were working on getting the grant agreement done right. And here's the issue. Congressman, is that we don't want this money to go to waste. We wanted to actually help the people of Puerto Rico.
We want to make sure that they don't all get one lump sum and it overwhelms their political system where they had a governor that had to resign from corruption, where FEMA finds Unst undistributed.
Has anybody asked has anybody remotely suggested you should simply hand the money over in a little, not one lump sum?
Well, your question suggests no, it doesn't suggest that these are in tranches and there are deadlines. There are statutory deadlines. It turns out when deadlines were missed, we put them in statute. There are ample, ample opportunities, check points for four for the four judgments to be made about letting this transfer that go forward. That's that's not what I'm asking you. I'm asking you about the the what the HUD people tell us that they've had trouble even getting authority to request the money from OMB and that.
And I'm looking for what your authority is to to do that.
I'm not going to get into the deliberative process between age.
I'm asking your first set. I'm not asking about your deliberative process. I'm asking about where this authority comes from.
It comes from our apportionment statutes, the ability to make sure that money is spent efficiently and economically to make sure that there are spend plans in place in it comes from our authority to consider when there are notifications to be able to have new regulatory pronouncements that go out to make sure that they go through a a a rigid fact based process.
Mr. Chairman, I'm going to ask for the record a detailed account of your answer to my question with citations of the authorities you're talking about, sir. Happy to.
Gentleman's time has expired. And now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Roy, for five minutes.
Thanks, Chairman. Mr. Vogt, thank you for being here. Thank you for representing the president, trying to stand up to actually put us on a path to some sort of fiscal responsibility and getting us a balance, a budget that balances. While unfortunately, my Democrat colleagues want to sit and pontificate and actually do nothing, produce no budget and not actually do their job. So thank you, Mr. Vote for being here. I appreciate it. Mr. ROTAS Izmit is the secretary manoogian testifying this afternoon, the Senate in front of Senate Finance.
He is, yeah. So isn't always the case that that process starts after EW.com and start this process off here. Toby, it does nothing to hide there, right? Nothing. You know, let me ask you this question. Do you know who said the. Following just this week, debt doesn't seem to matter as much right now. Right now, it's not an immediate concern. The size of the debt does not poll well. I don't see how that that's a put.
A potent political issue generally said that this week. I have a suspicion that I'd rather you answer the question.
The chairman of this committee said that this week, as quoted by Jad program on Fox News. Do you, on behalf of the president, agree that debt does not matter?
Absolutely not. I think this is one of the things that these budgets are meant to have a debate with the country about as that debt and deficits do matter. Washington, D.C. has been spending, borrowing recklessly because of spending. I've heard you in this committee speak to the level of spending as a percent of GDP compared to where revenues are as a percentage of GDP. This budget would maintain revenues at their post-World War 2 historical average. The problem is on the spending, we need to get a handle on where we are spending.
The easiest thing in the world would be to say that debt and deficits don't matter, that we don't want to balance, but we actually say we're going to balance in 15 years.
The national debt is twenty three point two trillion and growing. It is racking up about 110 million dollars of debt per hour. That roughly correct has roughly. Correct, right. So we're gonna rack up another two or three hundred million dollars in here while my Democrat colleagues demagogue instead of actually producing a budget. Yes, Chairman Yarmouth this morning said, quote, something in the zip code of he's confident that Congress will stand firm against the president's budget. Let me just say on this, I think the chairman is most certainly correct, and that is unfortunate that we're not going to start with the president's budget and try to work with the president budget to actually do our job.
That's unfortunate. Congress always stands against any attempt whatsoever to spend responsibly. Let me just be clear. This is a bipartisan problem. Let's look at this in twenty seventeen. With respect to the president's ask, did Congress spend more than what the president asked for in twenty? Seventeen. Yes. Did you all send up a budget that had a 10 year balanced proposal in twenty? Seventeen? Yes. And was it effectively laughed back to the other end of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Avenue from this body?
It was not adopted in twenty eighteen was the president's. Ask that setup. Did Congress spend more and bust the caps? Yes. In twenty nineteen. Was the president's ask honored? Or did Congress spend more and bust the caps? Congress spent more in 2020. With respect to the president's ask, did Congress spend more and bust the caps by a lot? We spent more than the original budget that the president said and reset the caps last summer and spent to those higher cap levels.
That's correct. So to be clear, do you agree this is a bipartisan problem? If you look at that entire four years that Congress has not been effectively doing its job to spend appropriately. I do. Let's talk about economic growth and taxes. And you referred to it. I asked the CBO director in his room two weeks ago whether or not we will be maintaining revenue as a percentage of GDP at roughly the seventeen point four historic rate. And he said yes.
Do you agree?
Yes. Seventeen point two percent of this budget.
And in other words, we have a spending problem. We do not have a revenue problem. Whatever the Democrat colleagues want to say about bloviating about tax cuts for the rich, the fact is we have revenues to the Treasury that are consistent with historic norms and will for the next decade. Yet my Democrat colleagues want to demagogue about spending and continue to spend more than we have. Is that correct? That's correct. And so the key question is that fiscal policy, that is tax policy and regulatory policy will free up the American people to produce.
Let me ask you this. With respect to the budget that you put forward, we projects 68 percent debt to GDP by the end of the decade. Correct.
We project in under this budget, we would go down to 66 percent as a percent of GDP.
But that relies on 3 percent economic growth. It does. Right. But that is a laudable aspiration. Can we get out of the mess that Congress has created without economic growth?
No. This is this is a and all of the above strategy. Economic growth needs to be maintained. Deficit reduction through spending restraint needs to be maintained.
And you and I both know that my colleagues won't take this budget request seriously. Right. They'll tear it up essentially like Speaker Pelosi tour of the State of the Union to throw it out, the daily papers. If we don't get a hold of the debt, the ballgame is over. No money for defense, no money for homeland security, no money for Medicare, no money for Social Security. In the words of Don Meredith, turn out the lights.
The party's over. Thank you for sending up a budget that we can actually start with. My Democrat colleague should actually order that. And let's work together to do the work of the American people.
Gentleman's time is expired. And I will take this liberty to say that that was my joke used yesterday that I tried to turn the budget into. But thank you for reiterating my joke. I now recognize the gentleman from New York, Mr. Morelli, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding a hearing today and thank you. Acting director of for being here to discuss the budget. Yes, I have received a copy of the budget, which has been titled A Budget for America's Future.
Inside it, as far as I can tell, and we're just beginning to go through it. Countless proposals that unfortunately my view disregard the realities of our future. The budget, this budget, like all budgets, is a statement of priorities. But my view, the priorities in this budget are harm the president future needs of families across the nation. And I mean, should I apologize? I had to step outside and hear your testimony regarding savings. But as I say, there's a half trillion dollar cut to Medicare and $900 billion, nearly a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid, reduction of food stamps, the Children's Health Insurance Program, which will jeopardize the livelihood and stability of millions of our vulnerable citizens.
And from my perspective, the stark reality is the budget leaves many people wondering what sort of education their children receive, uncertain of where their next meal will come from. It lacks the kinds of investments that will make America stronger, moving into the future and investing in our families. Investing in education, investing in infrastructure, I think, are the things that have always been my priorities. I think the priorities of this country and I want to ensure that the values of my community are represented in the voice of working families are heard.
Last week, I held a town hall. Five hundred senior citizens came and most of them voiced their fears about the future of Medicare, whether would continue to provide support for them. The shortcomings of Medicare as it is, they talked about their struggles with prescription drugs. They talked about how health care costs continue to rise. I also spent time in the last two weeks visiting a number of senior centage cities, senior citizens centers and continue to hear in-depth their real concerns and fear about the future.
And so I'm very, very concerned about this. I would like to ask I apologize if I'm asking you repeat yourself. But to tell me how you see savings in Medicare, where I see cuts, you describe how you how you envision that. Because I don't see this at all. I don't see anything major reorganization. I don't see bending the cost curve by improving outcomes or proving patient experience. The things that we're all trying to do in health care using social determinants.
Did you just briefly, because I don't have a whole lot of time and I have a couple of other questions. Happy to.
Medicare will grow at 6 percent every year.
One of the things that you mentioned in your question is that lowering the prescription, the cost of prescription drugs, that's something that we assume as a savings compared to years past that that generates savings, even though it will benefit beneficiaries and lead to better outcomes, as you mentioned.
That's $135 billion in this of savings simply by lowering prescription drugs.
So in in the prescription drug, are you prepared to authorize Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drugs as is done in most of the industrial world?
Now, we have opposed H.R. three. That is a that is a proposal that we believe I get on the wrong side of the balance to be able to cut off innovation that's currently in the pipeline. That said, we have proposed less specificity, even though past budgets have been very detailed in the space, because we want to work with Congress and we hope that between the House and the Senate, a bill can get to the president's desk.
Well, I will editorialize here that every time I'm with folks and they ask about prescription drugs. And as you know, this is a growing, alarming situation. Every time I talk about even a vital mentioned where you talk about the federal government using its ability, economies of scale and the force of Medicare to negotiate prices, people are struck by the idea that we don't do it already. Drug formularies and Medicaid, just about every commercial insurance program beg for this.
And I just for the life of me, I don't understand why the administration I think the president in the past has actually voiced support for using Medicare as a means of negotiating lower drug price. I don't know what's changed, but frankly, I think there's been very little leadership from the White House on this. And Americans, particularly senior citizens, are just crying for relief. If I can let me just move to a completely different topic in my home district, Rochester, New York, has dealt with what in the past would have been deemed hundred year floods every other year.
In fact, I met yesterday with the chair of the American and the American side of the International Joint Commission, and we expect record flooding in the Great Lakes again this year. One of the things that we're really relying on is resiliency studies for the Great Lakes that we hope the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer will will conduct. We have appropriated money. The appropriation bill that the president signed to have funding for those resiliency studies. Yet I note in his budget that the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers and their ability to protect us and provide resiliency has their a funding cut by 22 percent. I wish you could comment on that and how I can help assure people back home that the flooding that they've seen, which is at record levels and is expected to begin this year, is advantaged by significant cuts to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
We provided more spending for Army Corps of Engineers. And last year's budget is something that we continue to have challenges in the sense that we want to provide the infrastructure that's necessary in this space. But we also have concerns with how long it takes Army Corps of Engineer to build projects. We want reforms in this area. And so our budgets have focused on making sure that projects that are in in occurring already get done before we go on to new projects. We're trying to address the backlog.
Well, I will just issue this in my last. I'm sorry. My. Oh, I think I am over IPO'd.
Just that just to say this, that the amount that the hundreds of billions that you'll end up spending in disaster relief instead of providing much smaller amounts for resiliency, I think we will come to regret. So I certainly hope there'll be added emphasis on resiliency. Obviously speak for the Great Lakes, but I know people around the country and waterways are concerned about that as well. So thank you. I yield back my time.
Gentlemen, time has expired. And I recognize the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Musah, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you. Colonel Womack, Republican leader, for holding this important hearing. Thank you very much, director, acting director, vote for joining us today.
We all talk regularly about very daily in this committee and throughout the floor Congress about the unsustainable level of spending our nation is on greatly appreciate. In fact, I applaud the administration and you for putting forth a budget that exercises fiscal restraint, focuses on rooting out waste, abuse and fraud. Eligibility requirements, as well as very targeted reforms, which which which we'll discuss here and focuses funding on some critical areas.
As the former revenue secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania we dealt with, we had to balance our budget each year and we set forth on focusing on eligibility requirements and over a two year period saved over 300 million dollars from a twenty six point five billion dollar budget. That's about 1.2, 1.3 percent over a two year period.
If we did that on the federal government side, that would be over 400 billion dollars over a two year period. Certainly a wonderful start towards an infrastructure and transportation funding bill. So so thank you for for putting your focus there. Also, the focus is on defense spending.
Well, anybody on this committee or in Congress asked to go over to Pentagon, whether Democrat or Republican, to hear from them about how far behind we've fallen in cybersecurity in space.
Dangerous areas to fall behind. And this budget continues that that growth. Department of Veterans Affairs. This budget funds in a strong way to the Mission Act and the Blue Water Navy Act, which.
And veterans suicide issues.
So thank you for that. Skills training. Extremely important for my state, my district and for our country. The budget puts over a billion dollars towards career and technical training to get more people to work for the 21st century.
Jobs and also block grants have a lot of experience here too. The importance and how effective, Brooke, block grants can be most often states will gladly accept a small reduction in order to receive block grants so they can provide and have the flexibility to use the funding and dollars how they feel best for their state.
Would you agree block grants provide enormous more flexibility than the federal government would?
Yes, absolutely. We allow states to have more control and design programs that achieve better outcomes for their citizens. Certainly, thank you. Now, regarding waste, abuse and fraud relative to the enacted fiscal year 2020 levels, your budget reduces non-defense discretionary spending by 5 percent. Is this reduction largely attributed to targeted reforms to reduce wasteful, ineffective and duplicative programs as well as innovation and overall fiscal responsibility?
Absolutely. We find efficiencies where we can, we find duplication where we can. We find just outright waste where we can give an example in cultural and state exchange programs, we about $400 million dollar savings in that area.
There are 80 or over 80 programs in that particular space and they've more than doubled since the 2000s.
That's an example of given the global world that we in, we live in, do we really need that such high levels of spending in that area or can we just begin to ratchet it back or just clear waste, fraud and abuse where you've got, you know, professional cricket league in Afghanistan?
Those are the kinds of things that lower top lines allow you to get at and really root, root the waste and the abuse out.
It's great reforms, not reductions now related to Social Security and Medicare. The president's budget does not cut or reduce Social Security and Medicare.
That's accurate. Correct? Is totally accurate.
And the benefits and savings will be realized through the through these reforms that you're referring to, such as the site neutrality and the lowering of costs of prescription drugs.
Can you talk a little bit more about the site neutrality? Sure.
Take an example of a CAT scan and she would get at an outpatient hospital that cost two hundred and thirty dollars versus a CAT scan that you would get at a physician's office or a physician owned location would cost $118. We believe that that's doesn't lead to a rational policy within Medicare and actually leads to worse outcomes from beneficiaries because you have providers referring to different locations based on a higher reimbursement as opposed to making sure it's the best from a health care decision. That's a substantial amount of savings that we get and that allows us to save money for the taxpayer, have better outcomes for for seniors, and continue to have Medicare growing at 6 percent every year.
Great. Mr. Chairman, I yield back. Thank you. Back. Joe Jones time has expired. I now recognize the gentleman from California, Miss, leave for five minutes.
Thank you very much. Thank you very much for being here. First of all, let me just respond to one of our colleagues who is not here now. When he referenced the fact that some of us overheard hate the president, now I'm speaking personally, but I just want to say to you, I don't hate the president, but I hate his policies. And when you look at how these policies in this budget, how they're destroying millions of people's lives.
It's a very shameful budget and it's something that we need to hate.
Let me give you a couple of examples. You slash more than one trillion dollars in Medicaid and Medicare. You cut $182 billion in SNAP. You cut 20 billion from Tarnoff.
You dismantle and could completely eliminate the social services block grant, the Home Investment Partnership and the community development block grant all programs that meet families basic needs.
It's hard to imagine how anyone could be proud of this budget. Mr. Director, someone mentioned the values.
Well, yeah, this does demonstrate what the values of this administration are. And that's putting the tax cuts for the wealthy, billionaires, millionaires and corporations paying for them through these cuts that you have put forth. Those are the values. Now, let me talk about waste, fraud and abuse for a minute. You look at the Pentagon's budget, D.O.D. has been on an unprecedented spending since 2001. This budget looks more like a wish list for defense contractors than a war hungry administration than something based in reality.
The Pentagon has increased their budget by $115 billion over the last three years. The Pentagon cannot even undergo a financial audit, which means we don't fully understand where the Pentagon spends its money. They contend there continue to be revelations of massive waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon. Let me list a couple for you, which reflects again the values of this administration.
The Pentagon awarded a seven million dollar cloud computing contract to a one person company, one person the Defense Logistics Agency lost track, lost track of hundred million in construction projects. Now, national defense spending currently makes up quite 50 percent of discretionary spending. Is that correct? At least 50 percent roughly, yeah. And the Defense Department zoning agency, that's not able to pass an audit or hasn't been able to pass an audit.
Is that correct? I think is a much more complicated story, Congressman. This is the first time in history that the Pentagon has undergone and completed an audit. And we've now gone through the second year of a completed audit and we've reduced the number of issues that were identified by 25 percent in the first year.
But we don't know what is being spent at the Pentagon and we don't know what constitutes at least you don't waste, fraud and abuse. I mean, we don't know if the right prices for contracts are being paid for. We don't know whether the goals that we set out in these contracts with the funding that we provide, where we may meet the goals, progress every single year, 25 percent reduction in the items that were identified in the previous audit.
But I want to give you an example of the progress being made, $6 billion in savings in fiscal year 19, $8 billion in savings in fiscal year. Twenty nine billion dollars in fiscal year 21. Projected savings that D.O.D. is doing the hard work to identify waste and redirected to other programs within D.O.D..
But you're telling me then that you're not identifying any abuse or real contract fraud in your audit?
And I have not.
I'm sure if you go look at some inspector general reports, there might be some some items there. But to my knowledge, I there's nothing that's in my mind, OK?
A couple of years ago, there was a report issued by the Pentagon that indicated there was about 150 billion that could be looked at in terms of waste, fraud and abuse. And I don't see 150 billion in savings in any of your budgets so far. Let me ask you. The cuts in development and diplomacy I found up from Congressman Mountains question in terms of the cuts by 22 percent. And I heard what you said in terms of there being a difference between diplomacy and foreign aid.
But again, given the president's reference to countries in Africa and in South and Central America, as he called them, s hole countries, many of these cuts reflect that value when it comes to development. We know that foreign aid is really a national security strategy to prevent. Terrorism to prevent countries from engaging in warfare, we know that it really is a strategy for global peace and security. And yet your development is being cut by 22 percent, your development assistance.
And yes, China is very active on the continent of Africa and many of the asshole countries the president has identified. And so once again, here we go. Your values are definitely reflected in this budget. And it's really a shame and disgrace that we're sending this message to countries in Africa and in Central and South America who really do recognize the importance of foreign aid from the United States as being our strongest national security effort.
Gentle lady's time has expired. And now, again, as the gentleman from Tennessee, Mr. Burgett, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, ranking member.
Thank you, Miss Vault, for being here. I sit here and listen to the talk on both sides. And I honestly, I just think about my sweet wife, my pretty little girl back home and that kind of drift off into that. So I thank you for being here. And and I'll try not to become that crusty old white dude from either side of the aisle. The distance here grumbles. And I'm just going to ask you a couple of questions.
All right. That's OK with you, rather. It is. No, as I've said, both sides of the aisle. So I'm not going after anybody. I do appreciate all my members waiting to hear my comments as well.
So thank you. How does your budget plan to reduce and hopefully eliminate the waste of taxpayer dollars?
Well, we shine a light on it in a way that we believe is historic. For the first time, we have a whole chapter on on waste, fraud and abuse in this budget. It continues to be something that we work to root out within the top lines that are proposed here. We also want to make sure that we are dealing with inefficiencies and things that just don't make sense when you own 25 percent of the federal of the land in this country.
Why do you keep spending on land acquisition? That's an example where we just feel like from a commonsense perspective, we can find savings in addition to waste, fraud and abuse and be able to get at some of the inefficiencies in government, because when you buy it, of course, it takes it off the tax rolls.
We did that and Knox County, we got out a property we did made and it put it back on the tax rolls and it just made the economy move that much better. I appreciate that. And on a separate note, I appreciate the efforts this budget does for our veterans and what they do. And I appreciate our ranking members serving this country. What level of spending does the budget provide for veterans programs in fiscal year 2021 and how does a spending level compared to last year's funding level?
Sure, we have a 13 percent increase for V.A. that said one hundred and five billion dollars that fully funds the level that's required for the Mission Act. It's a very robust budget. This is a major. Investment in our nation's veterans to make sure that that important law keeps getting fully funded. Last year's level was ninety three billion dollars. That gives you a sense of the increase that we're talking about here.
I think my ranking member, somebody said something earlier about the Bob Dylan artwork and I actually had these legislation that reference that earlier on and understated that was consumed in a larger bill. So I was glad to see that out. I'm not against artwork, actually have a degree in education. And one of the areas I was certified in was art education, oddly enough. And I like art and I like for my family to see like a little girl to see it.
But the stuff at these embassies was in back rooms for the for the embassy, big wigs to enjoy. And it know supposed be representative of America. Well, it was back behind a locked in area. And it and to me, that money could have been spent a lot better out square. And I realize seventy or eighty thousand dollars for a piece of artwork doesn't seem a lot to a Washington bureaucrat about getting people back in east Tennessee. That's a whole heck of a lot of money.
And so I appreciate you, appreciate your efforts, brother.
And I will relinquish the rest of my time so we can get back to some more rhetoric. Thank you, sir.
Gentleman from Tennessee is always generous with his time and helps us move it ahead. I think his time has expired. Now recognize the gentleman from New Jersey, Mr. Series for five minutes.
Well, Mr. Rove, thank you very much for being here. I just want to show my colleague that I'm not a crusty old guy. Why? You know, as I sit here.
I have to say, you have all the lingo. You know, I wrote down some of these expressions that. You know, to defend some of the issues where we're on track. Commitment to seniors fully continue saving into the programs. Pretty good. The debris report and then I get attacked saying that. We never do a budget in your memory. Did the Republicans I mean not do a budget in the last 14 years that I bring you? Did they ever not do a budget?
No, not not doable. Introduce a budget and pass the resolution for budget. They certainly did.
When I was here, we were doing budgets every year.
It was in fact, it was even when we must pay. Remember Bush? Many, many years under Bush, we were doing budgets.
It was one of the major must-pass pieces of legislation.
Every year was the war funded outside the budget. It was the what? The war in Iraq funded outside the budget.
I believe we were funding the war as that version of the Okolloh account or it was outside the budget.
Basically, it was funded substantial portions were funded within a budget resolution that accounted for spending.
That was that versions of of the Okolloh designation is not like it's just gets ignored.
Yeah, but it was outside the budget resolution.
Now it's not actually it's within the deficit totals that have to be added up over the course of five or 10 years, whatever your window is. You know, one of the problems that I favor always is the city programs. And I think it's one of the ways where communities can really help their communities save money, because any any issue, any time you use money from the sea, the G.B.. You're not better, and I'm basically through the local community tax.
I just don't know if sometimes people here realize how many places you used to DG money for, to help seniors, to help centers, to help job growth. To help know fix this street. And yet every year we have to fight because you just want to cut it. I mean, this is one of the few programs that helps local communities. You know, out at a time where money short in these communities. So I never understand that whelk or Jakartans minutes is a program that we've spent about 150 billion dollars on it.
We still think that there's too much flexibility within the program. Give me an example.
Does that does does the beauty of the program where you give nearly a million dollars to spend on giving the Greenwich Historical Society upgrades?
Greenwich, Connecticut. I live 30 minutes away from Greenwich, Connecticut. They have more than enough resources as a rich community.
But there's also historical upgrades, but there's also commuter using for mail, meals on Wheels and hiring people to take the meals to senior. That can move.
Now, Meals on Wheels is funded at all. We are. We use that. Did you bet money it was used for that minuscule while. But communities do use it.
They Meals on Wheels is funded fully under the ACL agency, under the Department of Health and Human Service, under this budget.
Well, all I can tell you is that we use the G.B. money to do that work. Now, the the the other issue I was see a when when Obama took over, I was the economy that. We are in the midst of a significant recession. I remember Paulson government. I was in financial services. Paulson coming in and telling me that the world is coming to an end. Financial houses are going under. Auto industry going under. In over eight years, the Obama administration create jobs.
My recollection of the Obama administration is that we lost 200 million men, 200 men, 200000 manufacturing jobs.
Oh, we've lost 200 million. Losing one of manufacturing jobs in this administration knows Obama administration that there's not talking about manufacturing jobs. Whether jobs created the one the Obama administration by the end of his term. I can't tell you based on where it started versus where it ended, but we lost manufacturing. I just love the selective memory that you have. All I can tell you is, you know, this president in three years, you both think that he has done this wonderful thing, that it was never done before.
Jobs were created. Growth was there. By the end of the Obama administration and I got to put up with this nonsense that we somehow think do anything to save this country. We saved the auto industry. We saved AIG. We saved all these some of these banks. And yet he thinks he did it all by himself. Like I said, you're good. You got all the drug lingo. Thank you very much. Gentleman's time has expired. And I recognize the gentleman from Oklahoma, Mr.
Hurn, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and ranking member of Hamacher. Appreciate the opportunity day, Mr. Vote. Thank you for being here. You know, what I will tell you is and this is just facts. Thank the president. Keep his promise. Produce a budget. My friends on the other side of the aisle, you know, they love to tear things down sometimes, like tear things up. The president's work. But it seemed like all they were getting done here is arguing about something that we all need to work on.
In fact, I'd be one to propose we never have another hearing with anybody until we get our work done. Either side, I don't care who's in charge. Our job. The first requirement we have in the Constitution, much have been made about what the president's done with the constitution. I would tell you the first constitutional responsibility we has of have a Congress is the power of the purse to produce a budget regardless of who's in charge. So my colleague from New Jersey is right.
We have a real opportunity, but we shouldn't be here throwing out, you know, beating on the president about his budget because he's actually done his work and put something out there. I give the same advice to my employees and managers for the years. Don't offer criticism without offering a solution. As I said, the Constitution affords us the afforded the ability to. Create a budget and we shouldn't be taken lightly. You know, passing a budget resolution and subsequently pass the appropriation bills in regular order helps us rein in spending, control our debt.
When you have revenues growing at 5 percent a year. Expenses growing 8 percent a year. There's not a person in your. I don't care what the initial is at the end of your name. Thinks that's a rational way to run a program, run a business, run your personal life. We have to get that in order. You know, if you look at it, the sad fact is we have such a poor job. This about 20 21 United States will be spending more money on paying down our debt than for our budgets of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Justice, Homeland Security and NASA combined.
That's pretty scary. Because we've done a poor job of controlling our debt. We must borrow only indebting our children and grandchildren, as my colleague from South Carolina said earlier. We're not throwing grandma off the cliff or don't our kids and our grandkids and future generations off the cliff. Justice CBO director Slagle said, confirming our last meeting, our national debt will become a national security threat if we don't get our fiscal house in order. For the record, direct your vote.
Do you agree with that statement? I do believe we will face a national security disaster if we don't get our fiscal house in order. We need to be able to continue to increase defense spending, but we have to get to the point of being able to deal with our debt and deficits. And former national security leaders like Admiral Mullen have said this on the record as well.
And General Mattis said this in the Senate hearing just this to get some things on the record here. Much has been said about the president or the Republicans in general about pre-existing conditions. Is that the president's for fixing pre-existing condition? Is he not? He is he is for completely protecting individuals with preexisting conditions. That's something that he has never wavered at any point, both on the campaign trail and in his presidency to protect.
In fact, he reiterated that to tens of millions, hundreds of millions of people. Stay of union. Just did ten days or so. They claim that under Trump, the average American is struggling. How do we know this is false? Can you. You know, there was a poll last week just not very favorable. Gallup came out and said a six out of 10 Americans are better off financially today than a year ago. Seventy five percent say the economy is in good shape.
A 20 year high. Fact is, 90 percent of people's said they were satisfied with their personal life from Gallup. Somebody who's never been favorable to this president. Is there anything you want to add to that? Is there any. Me? You got to make those comments justify that the economy is moving in the right direction. When you say I would I would say those comments do as well as the facts on the ground.
And what we're seeing in terms of 10 million people getting off of welfare, it see people with thousands of dollars of new disposable income to be able to invest in their families, in their communities and their charities. All of these things are a sign of success, record low unemployment, lowest unemployment in basically 15 years.
This is the sign of an economy that's booming of people that are getting or are benefiting from it. You want to say, how's the bottom half doing? They've had their income increased 47 percent. That's three times faster than the top 1 percent. So this we talked about as a blue collar boom because we see it at every step of the.
I just I got 30 seconds left. But just as a reminder to everybody that's here today, the ones will see this video, 1974 Budget Control Act required that we as Congress start producing budgets, working together with the president to fulfill that and reconcile it. We've passed that budget four times in regular order, got our appropriations done so that we didn't have continuing resolutions. Last time we did, it was 1996. Coincidentally, that was the last time we had budget surpluses in America 97, 98, 99, 2000.
I would say that we should start looking at that again as to being critical and political toward the president's budget as chairman. You back.
Gentleman's time has expired. Now recognize the gentleman from California, Mr. Peters, for five minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have been around for four terms. Now is my fourth term. And in the last term, my colleague was in here. But the president led an effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which is where the protections for pre-existing condition coverage came from. Today, that was not successful by the 1 vote of Senator McCain today.
His lawyers, the Justice Department, are agreeing with states who are trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
And I would just point out, I have never seen a proposal from the president to actually take care of this proposal. This this idea. So if there is a health care plan for President Trump looking forward to seeing it, but saying that it's right and it does make it to address the question. I'm just responding because I want to ask you about about the budget, though.
What does the budget assume for real GOP growth as the average over the next 10 years? About 3 percent that we would go to 3.1 and be at 3 percent, then head down to 2.8 percent in the last few years. The window.
And what is the CBO estimating that the economy is going to grow at the same time, roughly about 2 percent. And how about the Federal Reserve? What was their projection? I don't have the Federal Reserve with me. My understanding is 1.9 percent. So I have the independent, the CBO, nonpartisan, CBO, the independent Federal Reserve projecting about 2 percent, but the administration proved projecting about 3 percent. What is the basis for that?
Sure. It's a post policy budget and it's just post policy, economic assumptions. Forecasters take the world as it exists without changes in law. Our budget is a fiscal plan for the next 10 to 15 years when we reach bounce in 15 years. It assumes things that will occur in our budget, such as extending the tax cuts. It assumes things like ongoing deregulatory initiatives. It assumes an infrastructure bill. It assumes better trade deals. So when we get something done, for instance, with Canada and Mexico, it doesn't sit in Congress for a year waiting to be passed.
These are all things that lead us to be able to both aspire and believe that we can get to 3 percent growth. OK. Well, last year you projected the economy would grow at 3.2 percent and said we got 2.3 percent, which is a quite a bit of falloff. I don't think the tax testimony we had from other peoples that the tax bill did not bring nearly the growth that the administration suggests it was going to bring.
What would happen if that what were the deficit impact? If the economy grew by 2 percent, as most of the forecasters believe, we would have a hard time.
We would have a hard time right now being able to meet our back target of balance because it's an important part of our budget assumption. But I just would point you to the last four years of the Obama administration where the Obama administration increased taxes by six hundred feet.
I don't want to shoot and ask you about that re trillion dollars in revenue lost that CBO predicted. They just calling technical changes.
Well, we could we could have a lot of discussion about the revenue lost from the tax cuts of 2017.
But I'm just suggesting that that the for the forecasts you've made in the past have been rosy.
They look rosy compared to the independent estimates that we have out there, better than the independent forecasters, which just the last three years.
You got you got off by bye. Looks like 50 percent a wheaton's Mrs others and 18 ask you about foreign aid in my in my in my remaining time form.
Former Defense Secretary Mattis once said that if you don't fund it, if you don't fund the State Department fully, then I need to buy more ammunition. Ultimately, I represent a military. I've never voted against the military budget, but I am concerned that that by cutting the State Department 20 percent, the lack of investment in diplomacy makes war more likely. And I think that's of great concern to to too many people that I represent.
Can you explain if any analysis was done of the risks taken with respect to cutting the State Department by 20 percent? Yeah, you're referring to the state and foreign aid account that goes down by 21 percent. I'll continue to maintain that we fund adequately diplomacy because we believe that's an important aspect of international relations.
Well, we artists not just on that view. With regard isn't about aid.
Carmen, the permanent selfs been cut by 11.7 billion from 55 to 44. So if I overstated for 20, it's still a lot of money, right?
It is a significant amount of money, but we believe in diplomacy. Understood. Is is fully funded. It was required. Now, we will also say that within public diplomacy accounts, there is wasteful and abuse that we attempt to reduce because we're trying to wait it out. Can you give an example of waste, fraud and abuse that you're trying to cut out?
Yeah. I'll give you three examples. The Bob Dylan statute in Mozambique, that was an embassy. How much is that?
That is about. It is about $1 million. Only only $11 million to go a waste, fraud. Little by little, little by little.
I think that's that's the problem is how about the seventy five hundred for the Muppet retro spectacle in New Zealand? How about any five hundred dollars for them? The professional cricket league in Afghanistan now what about forty eight hundred four sending American artists to poetry festival in Finland.
My time is expired, but you would take you a lot of thousand dollar increments to explain this massive cut in diplomacy on behalf of the leader of the free world.
My time is expired. Yellowstone expired. I now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Krenshaw, for five minutes.
Thank you, Director, for being here. You received a lot of criticism over the president's budget. I'm just curious how it compares to Speaker Pelosi's budget. There doesn't pose Speaker Pelosi does not have a budget. Sure. I'm sure. What about this committee? How does it compare to this committee's budget from the majority? To my knowledge, they have for many is not working on a budget or nor has it produced one. That seems strange to me.
Doesn't it? The Constitution says that the budget is supposed to originate in the House and then go to the Senate and be signed by the president. S-antigen, you haven't seen a budget that you can compare to the president's budget? I have not seen one. Huh. So interesting. Lots of stones being casted, but no actual values being proposed.
Don't use that word very carefully because Nancy Pelosi likes to say, show me your budget, show me your values.
So the implication is that there's no values if you don't have a budget. But you say that. And yet the stones are cast in a way that would imply that the president's budget is without values, is without any moral character. Because that's really is the implication being thrown around.
You don't spend enough money on this. You don't spend enough money on that.
How dare you? Have you no heart? That's always the shame. Use the moral grandstanding used to make the points.
Why is it we have an unending debt, unending growth and debt? Why is that? Because this body engages in nothing but moral shaming. You don't have a heart if you're not willing to spend double or triple the money that we are. Never mind that there's no thought put into the second, third order consequences, no thought put into. Whether or not that money is being well spent, just moral shaming. Why? Well, because, as Alyssa Tofill said, that the end of a republic is when politicians figure out that they can bribe the people with their own money and they do so by morally shaming their political opponents.
You don't understand why we're at where we're at.
That is exactly why. This committee is supposed to set at least act like adults' and set some kind of top-line budget and make the appropriators work within that budget. But you're telling me there is no budget coming out of this committee. That's a shame, that's what I thought I came on this committee to do, was to have those adult conversations and then force actual choices. If you actually force choices, then maybe we can come to some agreement on what might need to be done, where money is being wasted, where it's not being wasted, where we need to invest.
But those conversations never happen and negotiations end up just increasing on all fronts. That's not sustainable. This budget, this committee has to be the adult in the Congress that says we can't spend that much more money. It's not sustainable for our next generation. Make the appropriators decide what to do with the money we give them. But we're not doing that. Instead, we're taking really easy but disingenuous political shots at the president's budget. Why don't we actually debate within an adult like top line of a budget?
What should be in the budget? We can't do that because then he'd have to show your values. Then you'd actually have to have an adult conversation. God forbid. Roger, would you. Would you like to clarify anything that you didn't get to clarify before you seemed like you wanted to talk about pre-existing conditions?
I'd love to.
This president has fully committed to protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.
He has proposed specific policies in the past, including last year's budget, where we actually had an actual plan that was proposed in the budget that would have done so.
This budget has an health care reform allowance that continues to maintain those protections for individuals, preexisting conditions that we don't have a specific proposal this year because we continue to work on it within the administration.
But when we provide a specific plan, just like the previous plans, it will have a ironclad commitment for individuals with pre-existing conditions, which which I would agree we need.
And it turns out if you're willing to engage in some kind of thinking that is other than totally simplistic, you can get rid of Obamacare and still protect people's preexisting conditions. Imagine that. Imagine that you can do it. So I'm glad to hear that the president does have a plan to do exactly that.
Thank you, gentlemen. Time has expired. I will remind the gentleman that roughly 6, 8 months ago, we in this committee passed a piece of legislation that established top line spending numbers in discretionary spending. And it passed on a bipartisan basis setting for 2020, 2020 and 2021.
Gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott, is recognized for five minutes.
Thank you very much. Could we get the chart up? I'd point out we've heard that it's not a spending problem. It's not a revenue problem. It's a spending problem. Fact is, it's a rithmetic. Whatever you spend, you have to pay for. And if one goes up, that's a problem with not paying for a tax cut. Now, remind people that since Nixon and Ford, ever a Republican president, has ended up with a worst deficit situation than they started with.
And every Democrat is ended up with a better deficit situation than they started with without exception. And this president seems well on track to keeping that trend going. We have the budget projections. We assume a 3 percent growth. Everybody else in the world is suggesting a 2 percent or less growth. And so the numbers will obviously be reflective of that. As the gentleman from Pennsylvania noted, we have a 1 to 3 plan going. If somebody had suggested you're going to have a 1.5 trillion dollar tax cut and pay for it with cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, I said that's ridiculous.
Not going to do it. But if you do it, one, two, three, one, cut the taxes to woops, we've got a big deficit. 3. Now, you expect us to cut Social Security, Medicare and Social Security. Now, Mr. Director, you acknowledge that this administration supports the litigation, though, in the Affordable Care Act. You promised a replacement. Are you aware in the last Congress that the Republican controlled House and Senate and that the House passed a repeal and replace with the president's support that CBO scored, showing 20 some million fewer people would be insured, the costs will go up 20 percent and significant erosion of protections for those with preexisting conditions.
Are you aware of the CBO score?
I'm aware that CBO had similar estimates that we rejected at the time.
You also recognize that the junk plans that the president supports will allow people, healthy people, to get into junk plans, making everybody else and are sicker pool. So if you've got a preexisting condition, you're stuck over there and there'll be increased pressure on those with preexisting conditions. Now, you said that the Medicare is not being cut. Is that one? That's correct.
Medicare will grow 6 percent over this budget. Okay. How much does the elderly population increase over that time? And can you tell us what per capita spending for Medicaid for Medicare will be over that period of time? I don't have a handy, but I'm sure you haven't. I don't have. That's why I asked.
Well, just as expenses go up and of course, the expenses go up, inflation is going up. So you have to keep up with inflation. The population is inflation is going up. So you got to pay more because there are more people said, right?
It is correct. And we're way above that. And the medical inflation is slow. The CBO had a half per. CBO has the baseline to keep up with everything.
And as CBO has a baseline that includes paying more than we would like to in prescription drug costs. OK. CBO has a baseline that assumes that we pay more than we would like to have with things like CAT scans.
OK. That's right. And you come up about half a trillion dollar short of the baseline. We have savings in one hundred thirty five billion dollars for a drug pricing. We have savings for. You don't have Heyman's say neutrality. We have savings where we take things out of the Medicare trust fund and still fund them outside of Medicare at a slower growth will come in about a half trillion under the proposed baseline.
Is it true the Department of Education cuts or 8 percent?
It is true that we have a consolidated block grant of 20 billion dollars for education spending that takes 30 programs and consolidates and block grants them to the state. It is true that we have basically flat level funding from the year before. Once you control for the fact that we are limiting variances in action again.
Is it true the Department of Education is cut 8 percent? There is a there is a percent reduction for the Department of Education is is based on eliminating programs that don't work, that don't lead to better math and science and reading scores, which is important because the Department of Education recent report shows that reading proficiency was lower in twenty nineteen in twenty seventeen.
You cut five billion dollars from elementary and secondary education.
And when programs that don't lead to more proficiency in reading and math and they they prove that in studies. And that's a given program like the 21st Century Learning Program, we eliminate that program.
Yes, I take that as a yes. You cut a billion dollars out of elementary and secondary education on your student loan plan. Under present law, if you've page an income based payment after 15 years, the rest of the loan is discharged. What happens after 15 years of payments under your plan? It's discharged. It's totally discharged.
You have debt relief after 15 years and the public service loan forgiveness under the people benefiting from that program would be benefiting from the new program after 15 years of the income driven repayment plan in the same way as the graduate students would have the benefit after 30 years instead of 10 years under the present plan, 15 years under the president's plan.
30 years on the right president's plan. Under present law, the student public service loan forgiveness. Your discharge after 10. That may be correct. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Yeoman's time has expired now recognize the gentlewoman from Connecticut, Miss DeLauro, for five minutes. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I think it's been stunning this morning. And what we have been subjected to this morning is an Orwellian presentation that showcases double speak. What is doublespeak and what's its purpose?
Its purpose is to distort reality. So let's talk a little bit about reality. And Mr. Chairman, you pointed out that top lines were sent over in July, the part of the bipartisan budget agreement, the president signed it. And what we find in this new budget is that he has walked away from that budget agreement bipartisan. Let's talk about that. OK. Now, the other thing is, let me just mention that the conversation around budget cuts, determining whether a federal budget proposal counts as a budget cut as simple.
If the proposal would reduce funding for programs, benefits or services or reduce the number of people who qualify for benefits relative to levels that would occur under current law, it is a cut. Again, reality. Let me clarify some of the distortions of reality about this budget. The reality about job growth.
It has been lagging in key states. Don't take my word for it. Let's go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota. Job growth is lagging. That's what the bureau says. Reality. Real wages are barely increasing. I didn't make up this number, Mr. Chairman. It is the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Further. Reality growth has been essentially the same as under Obama. That comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The growth rate in reality is well below past levels. That comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The historical average is 3 percent. The Trump administration is two and a half percent. The Bureau of Economic Analysis manufacturing manufacturing share continues to decline to new all time lows.
There is no blue collar boom. That is double speak. And that information comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis because key states lost manufacturing jobs last year. Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio. The data again comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from the Federal Reserve and from the Census Bureau that the president's policies have only made wealth and income inequality worse. Those are the facts. You can say what you like. You can distort the truth any day of the week.
You can continue to talk about cuts in a Orwellian fashion.
But they are cuts. I'm just gonna give you one last fact, I did a hearing this morning. With regard to the Corona virus we looked at. FEMA and the CDC being the two of the pillars that are going to help us in this effort. And what are we watching? We are watching the FEMA budget being cut, both individual assistance, both of federal assistance, the disaster relief funds.
We're watching the CDC budget being cut and the money that they need to deal with this virus. And we are watching what they're doing to helping states and localities. I rest my case. Mr. Chairman, this is nothing but an Orwellian distortion of what the reality is. Thank you.
Yield back time has expired. And now recognize the gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Horsford, for five minutes.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I don't know where to begin. I'd like to start by pointing out the concern that I know I had a majority of my constituents back in Nevada had that when the 2017 Congress, along with the president, passed the historic Jobs and Tax Cut Act. That we were worried that this day would come where the proposal would be made to balance those tax cuts on the backs of the working people of this country. We now know that that tax cut has added 1.9 trillion dollars to the deficit.
And you're here today to defend a budget that seeks to balance our budget on the backs of working Americans. One of the safety net programs that is most at risk of harm is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. The president cuts one hundred and eighty two billion dollars over 10 years from SNAP by imposing stricter work requirements that have already been rejected by Democrats and Republicans. One hundred and thirty thousand Nevada families rely on SNAP benefits to put food on their table.
And we know that SNAP has a tremendous multiplier effect in our economy, both in our rural and urban areas. Yet President Trump keeps trying to take food out of the mouths of children and needy families. To do what? To give tax breaks. Two big corporations and the very wealthy. Dr. Direktor voice How many individuals will lose SNAP benefits as a result of this work requirement proposal? The way you're describing our proposal is not true. Congressman, how many individuals budget would merely provide savings and reforms in the food stamp and to primary way?
I question once the harvest flops. Let me give you the easy.
No, no, no. I'm asking you a question. The question is how many individual.
We don't think people are going to lose coverage because of these proposals. We believe that people will get off of food stamps and go in to get off of the cycle of dependency and onto the ladder of economic opportunity with jobs that don't require them to be on the social safety net program.
So and you. And so, you know, a were director I reclaiming my time, 53 million Americans, 44 percent of the workforce today earns barely enough to live on with making $18000 a year. Putting people on part time jobs that don't pay livable wages doesn't get them off a cycle of dependency. We've been we all. I come when I live, doesn't decorate. We've reclaiming my time. The president also proposes to eliminate 1.7 billion dollars from the Corporation for Travel Promotion, also known as Brand USA.
This is a direct attack on Nevada's tourism industry. In 2018 alone, Brand USA brought over 1.1 million international visitors to the United States, including to Las Vegas, creating 52000 American jobs and generated a total economic impact of 8.9 billion dollars. Director, can you explain to me why this administration wants to get rid of Brand USA, which has proven to be an economic engine for Nevada and the rest of the country?
Congressman, we believe the two economic agenda is the economic policies that this president has put forward with regard to extending the tax cuts which are working, which are surely my question is regarding Brand USA, don't divert to some broad general talking point.
I'm asking about this program that has a tremendous direct impact on our nations.
And I'm trying to some economists in that our economic agenda is based on a strategy of wanting.
Tourism is not a part of your economic agenda, even though it's a key sector. I'm not suggesting moving on.
The president directly attacks Nevada by completely eliminating $230 million in funding from the southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, also known as snip Lamar. Just last year, Interior Secretary Burkhart provided over $100 million to support 47 public lands projects throughout Nevada and the California side of the lake based the Lake Tahoe basin. These projects include wildlife, wildfire prevention projects, wildlife habitat conservation and hazardous fuels reduction. Why are you and the president proposing to take away federal money and jobs from Nevadans by canceling snip them off funding?
And let me point out that five percent of the revenue generated from snip Lamar goes to the state of Nevada General Fund and 10 percent goes to the southern Nevada Water Authority. So this budget actually attacks the education of Nevada's children and our water supply. Why is the administration doing that?
We disagree with that analysis. We find that there's $800 million in unobligated balances in that in that program. And the types of projects that this program has funded is slowly over time drawing up, drawing down in terms of not being able to have applications for this spending. It's why we have unobligated balances.
And all we're just saying is we want 200 million dollars of that savings for deficit reduction, sweeping money from the children of Nevada to balance your budget on the backs of working Americans after giving a tax cut to the very wealthy and big corporations is not going to happen. Not on my watch. Gentleman's time has expired.
Now recognize the gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Woodall, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to give Mr. Horsford credit for not letting the president's budget pass. But I've been here 10 years. We had had any president's budget passed. We used to put the Obama press, the Obama budget on the floor just to see if anybody would vote for it. And generally speaking, folks, folks wouldn't. So, Director, I'm grateful to you for going through this this exercise, because I I find that this is the only conversation about priorities we end up having in a line by line, way, you take a big risk when you put things down a line by line, which is why folks like to talk about principles instead of instead of specifics.
And the 74 Budget Act requires it and the administration complies with it just as the Obama administration did. And I'm grateful to you for for doing that. I wanted to you might not have looked at the tax bill that that I've sponsored is not a tax cut bill. It was a tax reform bill, the fair tax. And we eliminated the income tax, the payroll tax in favor of a national retail sales tax. And folks would always call and say, Rob, I think that's a great idea, but I really want to hang on to my home mortgage interest deduction.
And I'd say, well, we're eliminating the income tax so there is nothing to deduct your home mortgage interest against. But I know, Robert, I really want I really want to keep that deduction. I think about that while you're having the conversation about folks losing benefits because they have succeeded into a place where they no longer need those benefits. I'm all about the economic ladder. I want folks to be able to grab it. I want folks to be able to climate.
Some folks are going to come down. Some folks are going to go up. It needs to be a dynamic, dynamic place. As you were looking at it, at budget priorities, could you talk a little bit about whether those were decisions to cut things that you thought were irrelevant or whether those were decisions based on or on a larger plan where you said we're not going to need these things as much because we're going to be succeeding in other areas?
Yeah, I think I mentioned this in my opening testimony. This is not meant to be a green. Eyeshades budget. We have investments where the president believes investments need to occur. Infrastructure, rural America. Ongoing funding for addressing the opioid dep- epidemic. These are obviously our nation's veterans. With an increase of 13 percent for four veterans and a 12 percent increase for NASA. So these are all areas where we looked at it and we said even with the top line fiscal goals that we're trying to accomplish, we gotta get to these levels.
And then we look at other areas and we try to find waste and inefficiencies and we try to find waste, inefficiencies everywhere.
To be honest with you.
But we looking to find where can we get rid of program duplication? Where does the underlying logic for a particular policy need to change? For instance, I mentioned land acquisition earlier when we have 25 percent of the land in this country owned by the federal government. That's an easy place to find savings just now by not pursuing new additional land. So when we write a budget, we try to meet fiscal goals, but we do it with the context of these programs and where we feel we need to find savings and where we need to make investments.
I do agree with Mr. Horsford. We can't cut our way into into prosperity. We've got to grow our way into prosperity. Candidly, I was disappointed in the in the last Republican presidential primary. Nobody ran on balancing the budget. Folks ran on on on new promises. And in many ways, both ran on tax cuts. Nobody ran rantel balancing the budget.
And that same thing is true in the Democratic primary going on. Now, I listened to some of these very heartfelt conversations about real people losing real benefits. That's the only place this conversation lands. If we don't get our fiscal house in order, financial collapses hurt those who need government most the most. Can you tell me a little bit about that long term planning? It's so easy to get caught up in what this budget says about about this year. I'm really more interested in how this budget is going to impact us 10 years from now and 20 years from now.
That's the benefit of this budget. We've put forward a 15 year plan to get to balance. We believe that's a vital fiscal goal. We have to be able to get more along the lines of where American families are every month, balancing their books to make sure that they have enough spending restraint to reflect what the money that's coming in. So that's going to continue to be our posture. This president's not running away from deficits and debt. He's tackling them.
He is putting forward budgets, is the fourth budget he's put forward. Congress has differing views with regard to whether those budgets should pass. But the president is coming before it into this this chamber and saying, this is my plan, this is my plan to get to balance. And I look forward to hearing from your plan there.
I hope that you will hear from our plan. I've had to write budgets on this committee of it to write budgets for the Republican Study Committee. Turns out that's really hard thing to do. There's there's a reason we have open rules on on budgets and anybody could offer their budget because it turns out not many people want to offer their budget because it's really hard to do. I give the progressive caucus credit for doing it, the Republican Study Committee for doing it.
But I certainly give the administration credit for doing it. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your indulgence, Jim.
Gentleman's time has expired. Now recognize the gentlewoman from Minnesota, Ms. Ohmar, for five minutes.
Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you for the to my colleague for the shout out to the Progressive Caucus for putting out a budget.
I wanted to ask, how much has the national debt increased under Trump's tenure so far?
Right now, debt as a percentage of GDP is roughly where it was when President Trump came into office. As it pertains to fiscal year 2010, around a how much?
Right now, the national debt is twenty three trillion dollars. It's too high. That's why we have a budget here to be able to tackle it by. OK, 1.6 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over 10 years.
All right. So it's increased three trillion dollars. And. Your deficit in 2020 alone will be more than 60 percent higher than the year Trump took office. Massive tax cuts for the rich. Aggressive military spending and excessive immigration enforcement have all impartially contributed to these high deficits.
And with revenue as a share of the economy at historic lows and income inequality at historic highs. I fail to see how you can realistically balance the budget under your current policies, but you're still expecting that high income growth will help pay for these wasteful spending policies. Was the last time that annual.
When was the last time that the annual GDP has hit your projected growth rate of 3 percent or higher per year?
Our first year we were way over our economic growth. No wind. See, when the actuals came in at 2 percent and we were significantly underneath that. So we've we have been too out of the last 3 years would have been closer to our mark than CBO is to have the last three years.
But I just would say we are trying to actually reduce wasteful spending in this budget. We don't think of tax relief for American families as wasteful spending. We think it's their own hard earned money that we're returning to them so they can invest in their families, their communities and in the individuals in their households.
Well, we differ in that it was never doing this presidency. Your growth projection is about double the CPO expected doing that same time period.
However, we know that this administration is not afraid to cut important programs that millions of Americans rely on every single day to try to fix Trump's policy failures.
And yet it was only four days ago that the president stated that he will not be cutting Social Security or Medicare Medicaid in the fiscal 21 budget. So I'm glad we're now getting an opportunity to make sure we have this administration on record for its false promises to the American people.
My colleagues on the other side and this administration will lecture us on the academic principles of fiscal responsibility.
And austerity by limiting deficit spending, unless it means cutting tax cuts for the rich or MP, Projekt said the federal deficit will top 1 trillion dollars this year. And CPO sees trillion dollar deficit continuing every year there after.
Under your current policies, Trump ran on this promise, this impossible promise to eliminate all you as debt. After eight years in office. But your own projections show that he will not even manage to come close to eliminating a budget deficit until 2035. Republicans will shift our focus to high deficits and raising national debt that they are causing not only to then push for deep cuts in vital programs for millions of working families, but also to distract us from the even bigger number.
Thirty five trillion dollars. I know that you talk about tax cuts as putting money back into people's pockets.
But I know that most Americans see how their neighbors and everyday citizens are struggling under these cruel cuts that you're making to programs that are desperately needed by most Americans. Thank you. And I yield back. Gentleman's time has expired.
And I recognize the gentleman from California, Mr. Panetta, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding this hearing. Ranking Member Womack, as well as Director Voight, thank you for coming up here. And attempting to defend this budget, which I admit I do believe is a failure to invest in our communities and does lack the will to invest in our future. This budget, I believe, takes a step backward.
It really creates greater challenges for the families that I represent there on the Central Coast to California, especially those in need of affordable housing, good schools and healthy, healthy meals.
It does fail to protect our environment or address climate change. It abandons public servants deserving of student loan forgiveness.
And it does make it harder for low income students to afford college or cut Social Security, even after the president promised not to do so, ignoring reforms like the Social Security 21:00 Act. And it does sabotage our health care system by cutting Medicare and Medicaid. It does all of this while increasing spending on political promises such as building the wall.
The proposed budget also pushes the notion that cutting spending is the only way to get our deficits under control.
I believe that if we don't have the revenue to make the investments we need in affordable housing, nutrition and education, in protecting our environment, fighting climate change, then we should not be continuing tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest and corporations.
Fortunately, Congress, not the president, has the power of the purse.
And going forward, just like in the past few years, I am confident that we will make more responsible decisions with taxpayer dollars than what has been proposed by this administration. Now the president has promised to eliminate deficits. We understand that promise.
We've heard it yet even under very optimistic growth predictions that are all that are a full percentage point above CBO and the Federal Reserve.
The budget would not be balanced till about 2035. Are there any independent or nonpartisan analysts who share those growth predictions? Mr. Director.
Congressman, this is a post policy budget with its economic assumptions. And so the forecasters out there are taking the current law as it is in the current economic environment. And that's what's based on their forecasting. We assume the policies of this proposal are enacted. Whether that's infrastructure, whether that's agreeing to the better trade deals, whether that's getting people off of welfare rolls, all of those things are policies that are assumed once again.
And I'm a director, if I can, reclaiming my time. I appreciate it. But once again, are there any independent or nonpartisan analysis who share your growth predictions?
Yes or no?
There are many economists out there who are advocates of economic growth at 3 and higher levels. Their forecasters out there, as I mentioned, are predominantly looking at current law and concurrent Aaron. Thank you, Mr. Director.
Reclaiming my time. And I appreciate it. I just have a short time here. I want to get through this. The CBO has revised its estimates of the 2017 tax laws costs.
Have you factored those increased costs into the deficit impacts or is this administration still insisting that the tax cuts pay for themselves? We continue to insist that the economic agenda of this budget, this president, everything from the tax cuts, its extension, the deregulatory initiatives will in fact pay for the static cost of the both the the original score and the extension of the tax cut.
Thank you. Fortunately, I was a mum on the Ways and Means Committee as well. And we had a pretty good hearing yesterday about corporate tax revenues or the lack thereof.
I should say as a share of the GDP, considering they're at his historically low rate and lower than almost every other advanced economy, does the administration still believe that taxes should be reformed in any way on corporations?
We're looking forward to it. Attached 2.0 conversation with regard to reform and there's a lot of things that will be part of that conversation. We mainly are proposing to extend the tax cuts, but the administration will continue to work on other tax reform proposals over the next several years. And now there's probably been news in the press along those lines and that's when we attempt to get that. Thank you. As I mentioned, I'm from the central coast of California and there are certain things that we are threatened by when it comes to climate change, sea level rise, increased wildfires.
Yet this budget cuts funding for the U.S. Geological Survey by 24 percent and for no one, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 14 percent. Has this administration factored any of the cost of climate change into its models?
We have not. Thank you. The on the same lines, the budget greatly stifles clean energy innovation. It ends tax incentives, incentives for clean energy deployment like the solar investment tax credit.
It cuts funding for the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by nearly three quarters and eliminates ARPA E, which is developing clean energy solutions up tomorrow. Without these programs and tax incentives. How will we be able to develop and deploy critical technologies to try to reduce emissions?
If you look at the totality of our budget, we have about eight and a half billion dollars that's devoted to climate related research and clean energy technology R&D.
So, look, we do have a shift from applied research to basic research, but we still feel like we're putting a very strong foot forward with the development of clean energy. Thank you. I appreciate. You bet. Gentleman's time has expired. Now recognize the gentleman from Texas, Ms.
Jackson Lee, vivax as chairman, ranking member. Thank you so very much. And Miss, Miss. Thank you for your service to the country. I am in at this moment because I have set this morning in a markup on homeland security and just left a markup on judiciary, which is still ongoing. But I did not want to miss the opportunity to at least ask one or two questions to the administration. But I would offer to say that this symbol and language is clearly both misdirected and incorrect.
This is not about America's future. This is not about an investment in America's future. This is a destructive document for ending America's future, particularly as it relates to the question of investing in all of the people of this country. I am stunned, literally stunned at the various cuts, including the trillion dollars that is being cut out of Medicare, Medicaid, including close to four billion dollars that is coming out of lifesaving medical research in light of the Corona virus.
There's a briefing coming up in just a minute or so.
The reduction in education in districts like mine, 6.2 billion dollars. I'll focus on charter schools, private rather than public schools. I'm stunned. I'm stunned at the lack of sensitivity to what this country needs. I'm stunned that you would cut FEMA federal assistance coming from a district that experienced Hurricane Harvey. 51 trillion gallons of gas, primarily state and local grants critical for terrorism and disaster preparedness by seven hundred forty six million dollars. I'm stunned. And then finally, I'm further stunned.
And I'll I'll ask a question that all that it seems to be geared toward is to ensure that the most vulnerable people in this country get the short end of the stick. Let me share some information with you very quickly from the Center for the Study of Social Policy. The racist roots of work work requirements do not support work. They harm families, the most basic part of it. In the years since, temporary assistance was Needy for Needy Families, welfare mandated work for families receiving cash assistance.
Hundreds of thousands of families have been left with less than $2 a day of cash. In America. When Arkansas and other states have begun to implement worker programs and Medicaid, thousands of people have lost their health insurance this spring. Over 700000 people will likely lose food assistance. And states begin to implement the Trump administration's expanded snap time limit. And what they are gearing it toward is that in slavery, they begin to characterize the descendants of enslaved Africans as lazy.
That's all the stereotypes. And there were laws put in place that if you were picking cotton, you couldn't get assistance. And so this document is trying to uproot the long belief that poor people, particularly African-Americans and now immigrants and others, are lazy. This budget. Clearly emphasize that unfortunately, racially charge direction in cutting Medicaid and cutting nutrition programs and cutting housing. And so my question is, is, Congresswoman, that is ridiculous. Excuse me. I have a point and I have the time and I'm reclaiming it.
Mind. I have the time and I have the time when I'm in Congress.
Would you, Mr. Ball? Mr. Ball disorder. And my clock needs to stop. You don't have the time. You'll hope you'll be given a chance to respond if you want. How can you justify the inclusion of work requirements which are not supported by any evidence that they increase employment and and the repeal of the Medicaid expansion? In addition, how do you justify a budget like this that is full with the how should I say it? It's full with the highway of damage human beings.
And you continue to do so with this destructive domestic cuts budget. And you also had an agreement where you would agree to fund defense spending and domestic spending the same and you've reneged on the agreement. What is your answer to that?
Now, I yield to you, Congresswoman. President Clinton signed into law historic legislation to reform welfare that had a work requirement in the TANF program and led to his story.
Promising caseload. Why? Because people were getting off of welfare and getting onto the ladder of economic opportunity.
The only thing that we do.
I voted against that bill knowing than we do any of those watching it expanded, expanded to food stamps, expand it to Medicaid and expand it to housing, because we think it's a principle that will lead to more opportunity rather than less.
Mr. Chairman, I'd like to put into the record the washing zammuto seven years of change. You can see and feel by myself dealing with the collapse of the economy under this administration. Dealing with what President Obama did. I don't think that's an answer because it didn't work under the past administration. It's not going to work now. Poverty is on the increase. You have people paying more money under the Trump tax cut. For those making 50 to a hundred thousand, they're going to pay more taxes, upwards of a billion dollars.
And those who are in the top 1 percent will pay less taxes. That's what I'm saying about a destructive pathway. And I don't know how in good conscience that you could put this budget forward for us to even proceed. You're doing nothing to reduce the deficit except on the backs of children, poor mothers, elderly and the disabled. It's shameful. Those who seek an opportunity that can they can then provide for the greatness of this country. I'm stunned.
Are you back, Mr. Chairman?
Edelman's gentleman's time has expired. Without objection, her unanimous consent request is so ordered. Now, I recognize the ranking member for 10 minutes. I thank the chairman and I thank the acting director will be for being here and serving as a pinata for my friends on the other side of the aisle to just take as many shots at him as they prefer. I as I said in my opening, at least, the president has produced a budget. And as been mentioned many times, the speaker of the House has indicated when you show us your budget, you show us your values.
And by the way, there was a very carefully worded question by my friend Mr. prize. from North Carolina earlier in this hearing that I want to go back to.
And that was about the passage of a budget when the Republicans last controlled this committee, carefully worded in a sense that he said, did Republicans pass a budget, assuming he's talking about on the floor.
But I want to clarify and make sure for the record, as the chairman knows, that this committee. Where this process begins did, in fact produce a budget and passed a budget out of this committee and referred it to the House as the director knows and as my friend the chairman knows, from there it becomes a matter of leadership to decide whether or not that particular piece of legislation goes to the full House. But just want to be clear that this committee did produce a budget in that year.
Now, having said that, I don't want to get back to more of a higher level.
I'm often amused as to how when a director like director vote or anybody in his position would suggest reforms or savings from programs funded at the federal level that all of a sudden the world crumbles and lives are destroyed.
In fact, direktor vote when the federal government doesn't fund some programs, that doesn't mean that people are left out in the cold.
In many cases, those programs are funded elsewhere. Let me bring up CBG for just a minute because Mr. Series talked about CBG and I'm very familiar with Community Development BLOCK R&M because I was a mayor of an entitlement city. And I just want to ask you if if in fact, CBG was not funded. Is it accurate to say that all of the programs and all the services offered through those CBG programs would no longer be funded? No, of course not.
There would be other opportunities for those activities and initiatives to be funded. What would it require of those local governments to do?
They would have to either look for other opportunities that the federal government to absorb that, or they would have to rely more on the tax base of their local communities.
So it's less of a revenue transfer from the federal government that of the menu of things that they already fund outside of the programs funded by CBG. Would it not be fair to say that they would have to go back through their priorities and determine what, if any, of those programs funded by CDG G.B. CBG would need to be picked up by the by, say, the general fund? Absolutely. Isn't that what the federal government should do? We believe that we believe that to be the case, it's time to make tough choices that even programs that have been around a long time.
It's time to figure out in an era of twenty three trillion dollars national debt. Where do we make tradeoffs? And one of those areas is the CBG program, because we think that it has not led to the types of outcomes that would let lead communities to ultimately get to a point where they didn't need that money as opposed to just continue to draw it down every year.
See, my argument is, is that cities and counties that have an opportunity to pull money out of the federal government can save on those expenses at the local level and reprioritize and take what would have been available for those services to fund other things personnel, equipment and what have you.
But I think it's wrong to suggest that because a program gets zeroed out, that all of those people are left out in the cold because cold because they do have to go through a reprioritisation. Isn't that what American families do every every month that have household budgets? They do. They they absolutely do. They go through every month and they figure out what's coming in and what's going out. How do you address what you're spending money. They typically go after what they spend to go out to eat.
They their their hobbies, their shopping budget. And then they make tougher choices from there. But they make tradeoffs and they know that they can't just get away with just continue to put on a credit card.
So in in that in that spirit, we are twenty three trillion dollars in debt. I don't have the number right in front of me. But I want to say the net interest on the debt is about just short of $400 billion.
So to make this relevant to somebody at home, this is like getting a credit card bill in the mail. And there is a place on that credit card bill that says minimum payment due, which is effectively the interest in some cases, not all cases. But in this particular case, the 380 or $390 billion that we're gonna pay in net interest, that does not reduce the debt at all.
As you know, it just pays for our interest payments. And just to give you a little perspective, that's about three times the size of the Department of V.A.. So efficient resources are going just to pay the interest on the debt. So we're just paying the interest on the debt all the while the debt continues to go higher and higher and higher. And so my ultimate point is this as an appropriator, not just a budget guy, but an appropriator.
All of that money that goes into net interest on the debt. As I said in my opening remarks, serves to crowd out other funding that might otherwise be available for some of the programs that we are trying to reform to try to find savings so that we can save ourselves from this catastrophe. That not be an accurate statement is accurate for sure.
Now, both gentlemen to my left and right.
Served with me a couple of years ago on the Joint Select Committee on Budget Process Reform. And one of the reasons we are in the shape we're in today is because we didn't do budgets. Budgets are hard to do these days. And so we end up plucking numbers out of the year, what we call the 3-0 to a numbers and set those in stone as we did in the 20 and 21 timeframe. And then the four corners of leadership, look at those numbers and come to some agreement than the rest of us are obliged to really go along with and or force a government shutdown.
The process is no longer working for the American people, certainly not consistent with the 1974 Budget Act.
So when I ask you a question about that, in my remaining time, we have advocated both Robb and Mr. Yarmuth as members of that committee. We looked at fiscal targets as an example of a solution. If we can't balance the books, then at least let's look at a fiscal target out there. And we thought the debt to GDP was probably one of those targets in your budget, assuming that's a legitimate strategy. What are those debt to GDP targets from today to say in your budget?
Sure, we would go to be roughly around 80 percentage GDP to 66 percent of GDP. And we're a big supporter of fiscal goal. That's why we focus on balance. But there's a lot of different fiscal goals that you can come up with.
And as someone who's written a budget before, it's it's next to impossible to make tradeoffs within a budget and produce these things with any degree of progress with regard to what you're going to do to the debt and deficits if you don't have a fiscal goal.
You've you've been assailed because you're trying to find savings on the mandatory side of the spending ledger. We all know that 70 percent of the federal budget is on the mandatory side. And without congressional action, it just continues to go out of sight in the food fights that we have here in the Congress are usually on the discretionary side of the budget. You've felt some of that here today, but that's only about a third. It's about 30 percent of the federal budget.
A data point that I think is worth repeating. Is that as a point to illustrate the point, as a percentage of GDP, as a percentage of our economy, mandatory spending continues to go higher. Does it not? It does. As a percentage of GDP, the money left for all of the other things that are included in the discretionary budget. That is the budget that the appropriators will allocate is going lower, correct?
It's a fair point. I think that there needs to be a look at all aspects of the federal budget. But in terms of the main mathematics, structural driver of deficit is certainly on the mandatory side. Now, if we're going to get after the mandatory side in some kind of a budget format, doesn't it stand to reason that we do a budget resolution that includes all of federal spending? Yes. Are there tools in the tool box at the Budget Committee can use with which to be able to bring down some of the mandatory side?
There are certainly tools that budget resolutions can do to be able to propose spending on both discretionary and the mandatory side. That's what we've tried to do with this budget as well.
But you've got to do a budget resolution in order to be able to get to that particular tool in the toolbox. You can't do without a budget resolution passed by the House and Senate. You're not going to a reconciliation bill that has a chance of getting through the United States Senate. Thank you, Mr. Director. I appreciate you being here today.
Gentleman's time has expired and now just under the wire, I recognize the gentlewoman from Illinois, Mr. Koski, for five minutes.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. So in 2016, candidate Donald Trump said, quote, I was the first and only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts in Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, unquote. And then after he won the the nomination, with the help of plenty of senior citizens every and every year since his election, he has posed as a. He has posed as a term champion for senior citizens, etc. But yet every year he has broken the promises.
So, Mr. Vought, in this year budget, you propose to slash 500 billion dollars from Medicare. Almost a trillion dollars from Medicaid and twenty. Four billion dollars from Social Security for Social Security disability. Am I right? No, you're not. Yes, I am.
The president fully protects Social Security and Medicare in this budget, as he has affirmed. Each and every time opportunity.
You're saying those numbers are not don't exist? I'm saying that they do not reflect the reality that these programs are going up each and every year. Medicare will go up.
We'll go hundred percent. Medicaid will OK.
We will interpret numbers, I guess, different from you when there is almost a trillion dollars cut out of Medicaid. So, Mr. Vought, yes or no? Just hours before the introduction of the budget on Monday, did President Trump tweet, quote, We will not be touching your social circuit, touching your Social Security or Medicare. In fiscal 20 21 budget.
But that tweet is fully reflected in the budget that you see today. This budget fully protects Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries.
President, I mean, we totally disagree on that, as do all the advocates for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid who are professionals as well. President Trump also loves to say that, quote, Our air and water are the cleanest they've ever been, unquote. So, Mr. Voight, yes, vote yes or no. Does this budget proposed cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency? It does.
It proposes to cut the EPA by about 26 percent. And we believe that we will still be able to fulfill the statutory responsibilities of clean air, clean water, clean.
Now, we've also seen in the time that he's been president an increase in carbon emissions going absolutely in the wrong way. And when it comes to education, the president, it seems, is not any different at the State of the Union. Americans saw a spectacle of President Trump giving a young African-American girl who, by the way, didn't have a seat there. She was on the stairs of a scholarship to a school of her choice, saving her from the failing government schools.
But the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the student already attended one of Pennsylvania's top charter schools. So, Mr. Vaught, yes or no? Does the F.Y.I 2021 budget cut the Department of Education funding?
There's a 20 billion dollar education block grant in this budget that consolidates 30 programs in a way that allows states more flexibility. It would be roughly the same level as last year. Once you assume the elimination of programs that we have long believed don't work. You've long believed, don't work.
In fact, every budget President Trump has proposed has cut critical funding for our public schools. We call them public schools. I was a public school teacher. I'm very proud of that. And now this idea that they are these failing government schools, I'm not sure what the implication was. It is the same story this year with this approach proposed $5.6 billion in cuts for the Department of Education. The president's 21 budget is nothing more than a laundry list of broken promises.
I am proud to be part of the House Democratic majority that will invest in America's health care, environment and education for years to come.
And I yield back. Woman Nields back. And now you myself. Would you like to respond? I just want to quickly correct one thing. I'd referred to nearly a million dollars in waste. I was referring to the professional cricket league in Afghanistan. I just want to make sure that's understood for the record. And back to you.
OK. Thank you. I now yield myself 10 minutes and I begin by thanking you for your patience, your indulgence. I know these things can get a little heated and contentious, but you've handled that very responsibly and with in a dignified fashion. So I thank you for that.
And I want to remind everyone, just for the record, that the majority leader of the senators announced that the Senate is not going to do a budget as well. And I raised that not to say because they did it. We are not doing it. We are not doing it. The fact is, we passed a budget last year for two years. We've appropriated to that in the majority. Here we shown our values and passing a budget resolution this particular year would change absolutely nothing.
And next year, if we're still in the majority.
My ranking member friend, you can hold me to a different type of obligation next year.
You know, we did a lot of disagreements here on what are cuts and not and whether or not cuts. And I understand with with things like Medicare and Medicaid, it's a legitimate argument.
But on the the discretionary side of the budget, right this year, under the president's budget discretion, total discretionary non-defense spending would be 590 billion dollars. That's about a 40 billion dollar cut from current year. And from the caps that we agreed on in the bipartisan deal. You know what the total non-discretionary spending will be in 2030. In 2030, I thought I had no I don't know that. Well, according to Bob Greenstein at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, it will be somewhere around $406 billion.
And he characterized it as the lowest level of non-defense discretionary spending as a percentage of the economy since the Coolidge administration, when the government, federal government was obviously a lot less active and a lot smaller. So it's hard to say that that's there's not been a significant cut to that side of the budget, which has many programs that are very important to moderate and lower income individuals.
So and. I have to be a little bit of miffed, I guess is the best word, because you talk about savings and waste and fraud and that you're going to do different types of approaches. But has the administration offered any legislation in any of these areas? The administration has not offered legislation to deal with health care, to deal with an alternative education student loan program, to do an infrastructure bill. You talk about you mentioned a trillion dollars infrastructure program.
It's not really a trillion dollars. It's 190 billion dollars. And that is matched by eight billion and in city and state or private funds. So the federal commitment, the taxpayer's commitment is not anywhere close to a trillion dollars. But if you have programs, it so mean. The point is, if we're trying to accept you're asking us to accept the fact that you're going to save money with all these alternative approaches. But the administration's never offered any legislation to give us any confidence that it can carry out that those programs and.
When you're talking about pre-existing conditions. Forgive me for being a little bit snarky. But for somebody who has lied, according to the fact checker, The Washington Post, sixteen thousand times in his three years in office. The fact that he says he's going to protect preexisting conditions when no one no one in this country has ever proposed a plan to protect preexisting conditions and guarantee price to the American patient made American consumer. Yeah, you can have guaranteed issue. They can buy insurance, but they are not going to be guaranteed a price protection, which means they aren't protected.
So I'm a little I think it's a little bit disingenuous to say that we can do it. The president's committed to protecting preexisting conditions because, again, nobody's ever been able to come up with a plan other than the ACA or a program like Medicare or Medicaid to do that. And I speak to that. Yeah, sure. Mr. Chairman, a couple of things. On the 2 percent reduction for non-defense, all we're asking to do is go from a 5 percent in one year and 2 percent each year.
We believe it. We call it two penny plan. We believe that's completely rational and something that over time we can find the reforms and it would require reforms that we put out of government reorganization plan to be able to start this debate about the magnitude of what would be necessary.
Similarly, sometimes in our budgets, we propose a lot of specificity and sometimes we don't. Our first year we had a lot of specifics on infrastructure and the Hill came back to us and said, next time we actually want to get something done in this area, we would prefer you not to have as much specifics. And that's that's where we currently are. We have a trillion dollar plan. We assume that higher levels of spending along the lines of what Senator Barrasso has put forward, we fill the Highway Trust Fund with savings from mandatory reforms elsewhere.
So we believe we're putting a credible path forward. What we have refused to do is raise taxes on the American people. All right. And then finally and pre-accession the president, it's not just his commitment that he has repeatedly articulated. He has put forward plans or supported plans that do this. We had last year in the budget a specific proposal called Graham CASSIDY. It's not in there this year because Graham, the president's working on his own plan that we're not yet ready to reveal.
But but it will be fully reflected in what he comes forward with. And it has been in past plans that he has supported.
All right. Thank you very much. And now in your just math testimony, I think you misspoke. You cited a statistic that this administration has touted in recent months. You said that the bottom half of the country, the population, as had you said today, income grown by 47 percent. Your testimony actually says that their net worth has grown by 47 percent. Am I correct on its net worth and not and gets to talking about. Right. So given the fact that one in five American families has zero negative net worth, it doesn't take much to take ten dollars or one hundred dollars to get a pretty significant percentage increase.
But that's not the point. I'm going gonna get that in dollar terms, that increase for the bottom half of the population of households amounted to roughly $500 billion. Do you know what the same dollar increase in net worth was from the top 1 percent?
I don't have that at my fingertips right now, but we do. I do have this answer. We do believe that we are getting people off of welfare. Ten million people have gotten off welfare. Seven million people off of food stamps. And over time, their incomes double and triple once they're off of these cycles of dependency. So while a number and I haven't checked that math recently, but to the extent that there's a smaller number on a chart that you produce along those lines, we don't think that that's a dynamic story.
We think the dynamic story will be more economic opportunity over the net.
I understand that. But the top 1 percent net worth has grown 3.5 trillion dollars. 3.5 trillion versus half a billion. I mean, five hundred billion for the entire half of the population. So any idea that this economy has in any way balance the scales of income and equity or worth or net worth in the country is ridiculous. You know, I'm going to conclude by asking you something I mentioned in my opening remarks. I said it's your obligation as acting director to ensure that OMB is adhering to the requirements of the Empowerment Control Act and fully respecting that the Constitution vests Congress with power of the purse.
As acting OMB director, what steps are you taking to ensure that OMB will not withhold duly enacted appropriations? Again, from the agencies to whom Congress appropriated those funds? And what steps are you taking to ensure that information is being shared with Congress and that there is transparency for the American people?
You know, we believe we've been transparent.
So up until the point in which the impeachment proceedings began or the the beginnings of an impeachment proceedings, I want to be careful because we've been able to have a hearing without relitigating the last several months. We were producing information, as we normally would with both this committee and the Appropriations Committee of regarding to specific apportionment and things along those lines. That's how we operate. We've given j.l all the information that they have requested. To our knowledge, there's a recent accusations along the lines of something different.
But the letter that we sent to G.O., we believe, had the information that they were requesting and there was no follow up from jail. So long answer and launch. The short and sweet answer is yes. We will continue to be transparent with regard to how we manage the people's money. And all that we're doing is managing it efficiently, economically with spend plans to ensure that money is not wasted in the process.
But that ultimately is not your determination if Congress decides to pass the waste wasteful program. And we certainly shouldn't do that. Is it do you feel it's your obligation to implement the spending priorities that the Congress establishes or do you not?
We believe that we need to abide by the appropriation that you've passed by Congress, that our ability to manage efficiency and economically within that appropriations. We look at the appropriations law, we look at the authorization long, we figure out what our flexibilities in within that within that framework.
Well, I accept your office, but we will you have your answer and your representation and I will and we will hold you to it. Thank you very much once again for being here and your work on behalf of the American people. And with that, there's no further business. The hearings adjourned. He was chairman.
I've been checking the news for.