House GOP pushes the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act

Since taking control of the House of Representatives after the 2010 mid-term election, Republicans have been looking for ways and presenting plans to deal with the budget crisis by cutting spending and avoid tax hikes that could further slowdown our economic recovery. Unfortunately, those proposal have largely done ignored by the White House and Senate Democrats, who still control the majority in that chamber.

But Republicans are undeterred by the insistance of Democrats to impose more regulation and taxes in this very tough economy and are still pushing new ideas. In a recent op-ed at the Chicago Tribune, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) explains the latest legislative fixes offered by the House GOP that would make Congress accountable for the budget, promote transparency, and require the CBO to look at the consequences of spending:

Earlier this year, House Republicans presented a budget to the Congress that would cut nearly $6 trillion in spending, reform the tax code and improve and strengthen programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. We drafted, debated and passed a plan to put our nation on a path to prosperity. President Barack Obama, along with Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill, responded with demagoguery while offering no credible plan of their own — no plan to pay off the debt and no plan to save and strengthen health and retirement programs for seniors.

Elected leaders should not be able to avoid their responsibilities in such a cavalier manner. And yet, under the broken budget process in Washington, they have been able to get away with doing nothing as the debt piles even higher.

Members of the House Budget Committee are now stepping in and stepping up with a package of reforms — 10 bills, recently introduced, that would make certain Congress has the tools to control spending and will be held accountable for practicing the necessary oversight.

Each proposal speaks to a weakness in the current budgeting process and provides a solution to fix the problem. Taken together, they present a path out of the current dysfunction and a way for lawmakers to confront our nation’s challenges.

Among the bills being proposed is legislation we authored that would require the Congressional Budget Office to begin analyzing the macroeconomic impact of major pieces of legislation. The Pro-Growth Budgeting Act requires the CBO to provide a more dynamic assessment of how pending legislation would affect economic realities such as business investment, real gross domestic product and unemployment.

This would provide a more complete perspective on the real-world impact of legislation beyond the usual revenue, outlays and deficit accounting already relayed by the CBO. It would ensure that lawmakers are better informed and forced to consider the consequences of their actions on the economy as a whole, not just on Washington’s bottom line.

The current broken budget process provides ample opportunity for Congress to overspend and underprioritize. The proposals put forward by members of the House Budget Committee take positive steps toward a more accountable and responsible budget process — one in which members are more cognizant of how best to promote growth in the economy while practicing sound fiscal management. In doing so, we would help lift the shadow of debt that is hanging over economic activity and limiting our prospects for a more prosperous future. Bills such as the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act will make it easier for leaders to do their jobs and harder for others to avoid the responsibility bestowed upon them by the American people.

That’s a good idea. Unfortunately, congressional Democrats are unlikely to jump on board with it since they are largely in campaign mode — well, that’s all President Obama has done since his first day on the job.

While I occasionally have issues with them (usually on social issues, at least lately), Republicans are often unfairly accused of standing in the way of Obama’s agenda, simply saying “no” to everything his pushes. They have put forward many new and innovative ideas that promote reform and economic growth. Two years of unfettered Democratic Party control in Washington brought us massive budget deficits; spending that makes George W. Bush blush because he wasn’t ambitious enough.

Rather than simply throwing money at problems, pushing new reforms and measures like Price’s legislation would allow Congress to take a closer look at what their actions do to the economy.


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