By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, February 9, President Barack H. Obama (D) released his final budget proposal as President of the United States. US Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) and US Representatives Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) each issued statements critical of President Barack Obama’s budget proposal and his inability to adequately address our nation’s spending crisis.
Congressman Byrne said, “Our nation has a serious spending issue, and President Obama’s budget proposal would only make matters worse. Instead of offering the same failed grab bag of liberal policy ideas, I wish the President would have put forward a realistic budget proposal that actually addressed the true drivers of our national debt. This budget is dead-on-arrival, and we must now get to work crafting a budget that actually balances and restores fiscal sanity.”
Senator Shelby said, “President Obama’s wildly irresponsible budget plan further cements his legacy of liberal priorities: higher taxes, more borrowing, and wasteful spending. The American people deserve better than a President who continually offers unsustainable proposals to expand our bloated federal government while ignoring our massive $19 trillion of debt. The only positive news coming from this budget blueprint is that it is President Obama’s last.”
Congressman Palmer said, “Increasing spending, while the Congressional Budget Office projects a shortfall in revenues, is not a path to fiscal responsibility, but that’s exactly what President Obama is proposing. His priorities do not represent the priorities of the American people. Whether it is the government or an individual, it is irresponsible to continue spending more than you earn.”
Rep. Byrne said that the House has already started work on their own budget proposal. Byrne testified before the House Budget Committee about the need to reform our nation’s means-tested entitlement programs. Byrne told the committee about his work as chancellor of Alabama’s two-year college system and the need to put a real focus on jobs and skills training.
Rep. Byrne also denounced Obama’s proposal to downsize the Navy’s acquisition of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Byrne said, “President Obama and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter just don’t get it. At a time when our nation is facing a range of threats from every corner of the globe, they are proposing to ignore the advice of Navy leaders and cut the LCS program. The Navy has made crystal clear they support and need 52 Littoral Combat Ships in order to fulfill their mission.” “Since my first day in Congress, I have been working with my colleagues on the Armed Services Committee and throughout the House to build support for this important program. That’s why I’m confident Congress will reject this flawed proposal from a lame-duck President and a lame-duck Secretary of Defense.”
The Independence class LCSs are built by Austal in Mobile.
Rep. Palmer said, “A responsible budget would balance without gimmicks, would cut spending, and would not raise taxes on the hard working American people. President Obama’s proposal fails in every category.”
According to numbers from the House Budget Committee, President Obama’s proposal would increase spending by $2.5 trillion and raise taxes by $3.4 trillion over the ten year budget window.
Senator Shelby said, “I have consistently advocated for a constitutional amendment that would require the federal government to do what Americans and their families do every day – balance a budget. Our priorities should be to cut wasteful government spending, reform our nation’s complex tax code, and get Washington out of the way so that the private sector can succeed.”
The House is expected to vote on their own budget proposal in early March.
The National Priorities Project announced that President Obama’s budget included spending $6 billion in new funding to connect young, disconnected Americans to their first job; a $32 billion clean transportation proposal; a $2 billion increase in Pell grants; a financial firm fee that would raise $111 billion over 10 years; and raising the top capital gains tax rate to 28 percent.
US Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. US Representative Gary Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District. All three are running for re-election.