Responding to the President's Budget
The budget process for next year kicked off yesterday when President Obama released his 2016 budget. This budget is usually a wish list of where the President hopes the government will spend money next year, and over the next few weeks, the House Budget Committee and other groups in Congress will respond with budgets of our own.
While there’s a lot to dig through here, I wanted to point out a few things we saw right off the bat.
First, the President included a call for another round of base closures in the budget. I’ve been loudly opposed to this since taking office, and was disappointed to see that it ended up in the final product. While it’s important to remember that this is only a request and Congress must approve any base closures, I’m going to continue to be a vocal and outspoken opponent to this process. The last round of closures in 2005 ended up costing $14 billion more than we were promised, and the expected savings have been decreased by 73%. Furthermore, closing down our military bases might make us less capable to respond to the changing threats around the world, and I worry that permanently getting rid of these capabilities is incredibly shortsighted.
Fortunately, the House Armed Services Committee, on which I serve, will be the first committee to look at this area of the budget, and I will be sure to work with my colleagues here to block any base closures.
There are also some proposals regarding troop pay raises and retirement. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as we learn more about how these might work.
Finally, there are some parts of this budget request that address our growing need for infrastructure projects. I’ve long been a believer in responsible infrastructure spending, and while I disagree with raising taxes to get there, I’m encouraged that we’re starting to talk about steps we can take to create jobs and invest in our roads, bridges, and rail.
I’ll be digging through this budget over the next few days with my staff, and will be sure to pass along what we find. For now, you can read more about the budget by clicking the link below.
Wall Street Journal: Obama to detail nearly $4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2016