WASHINGTON – Being back in the Peach State for the two-week spring District Work Period, I was heartened by the many opportunities to speak with folks from throughout Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.
We come from a community of leaders, and I truly value your input and feedback.
While on the ground, people resoundingly relayed one huge concern: Government spending is out of control. Simply put, I could not agree more.
Prior to leaving Washington in the face of yet another deadline to prevent a government shutdown, Congress passed one of the most expensive spending bills in American history. Despite the fact the House passed all 12 appropriations bills back in September, once again, things fell flat once they reached the Senate. These bills sat in the Senate for six months before any action was taken.
Unfortunately, that action was not fiscally responsible. Coming in at more than 2,200 pages, this “omnibus” package spends $1.3 trillion – or about $582 million per page.
While this bill was quite obviously far from perfect, I am glad it restored critical funding for our military and servicemembers after years of neglect under the Obama administration. Regrettably, in order to secure those priorities, Republican leaders ceded to Democrat demands to increase domestic spending by 13 percent and to continue funding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities.
The Democrats further held military funding hostage in order to prevent funding of a border wall and chip away at the Second Amendment. To make matters worse, this reckless bill did nothing to address the state of our nation’s deficit, which has now passed $21 trillion. That’s why, at the end of the day, I simply could not vote for it.
In the aftermath of this disappointing bill, it’s clearer than ever that we need to act to ensure future generations are not saddled with these massive levels of debt. This week, the House brought House Joint Resolution 2, the Balanced Budget Amendment, to the floor for a vote. An amendment like this would institute the kind of fiscal responsibility necessary to solve Washington’s reckless spending and is the first step in creating a constitutional constraint that would legally require a balanced congressional budget.
I was glad to vote in favor of this important legislation, but disappointed that Democrats put liberal, big-government spending priorities over fiscal responsibility and voted against its final passage.
While the Balanced Budget Amendment cannot reverse the damage done by the fiscal year 2018 omnibus bill and years of unrestrained spending in Washington, it would have been a step in the right direction toward achieving fiscal security. In order to balance our budget, we’re going to have to take dramatic action to rein in spending.
Although it’s never easy, it’s necessary to create the future for this country that we’ve promised our children and our children’s children.
Jody Hice, a Republican from Greensboro, represents Georgia's 10th District in Congress. Online: hice.house.gov.