It’s time for a new budgetary approach

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Since arriving in Washington, I have been encouraged in conversations with other members at the desire to work together to achieve positive results for our country. Although we don’t always agree, we share the common interest of building an environment for a healthy economy that will provide opportunities for good-paying jobs for our constituents. There is no question in my mind the basic fundamentals for action exist in this Congress. What has lacked so far is strong leadership.

Last week, the president released his budget request for the 2015 fiscal year, a partisan and provocative $3.9 trillion document. The president signaled in his State of the Union address that he has little interest in working with Congress to find solutions that will move this country forward. Now, he is doubling down on that approach, submitting a bloated liberal wish list that will do little to pay down our debt, create jobs, or provide for a strong national defense.

This does nothing to foster the action that President Obama has advocated for from Congress. Rather than uniting us he chose to divide us, submitting a campaign document rather than a serious budget that will reduce the debt and help create jobs. This is a disappointing, but not surprising, lack of leadership from the executive at a time when we face pressing fiscal and foreign policy issues together.

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I cannot support a proposal with such skewed priorities — imposing even more taxes on job creators during a down economy and weakening our military in the midst of an international crisis in Europe while continuing the policies of exploding welfare spending without significant reform. These tired ideas have been tried time and again by this Administration, and have unilaterally failed. I believe it is time for a different approach.

Moving forward, I will look to support a budget proposal that makes significant strides toward addressing our out-of-control spending, reduces burdensome taxation, and provides for a strong national defense, specifically by fulfilling the full order of Littoral Combat Ships built in part in our district.

It’s time we get serious about addressing these pressing issues together, and I’ll continue fighting to represent our shared conservative Alabama values in Washington?

Bradley Byrne is the U.S. representative for the 1st Congressional District of Alabama, which includes Escambia County.