Chairman Womack Speaks on “Commonsense” Rescissions Request

WASHINGTON – Today, House Budget Committee Chairman Steve Womack spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act, which mirrors President Trump’s rescissions request sent to Congress.

“I rise in support of this commonsense request from President Trump to responsibly rein in wasteful government spending.

“While the budgetary ‘rescissions’ tool has not been utilized by the White House for some time, the President’s decision to use this approach today should be commended – it importantly sheds light on the need for fiscal responsibility. The amount of this proposed rescission should also help us scale the challenge that is before us.

“Today, Mr. Speaker, the nation’s debt is an excessive $21 trillion, and that’s not a stagnant figure. It’s rapidly growing. It’s grown in the short time that I’ve been at this microphone.

“This process helps us in Congress confront wasteful spending and draw back unspent funds on the discretionary side of our budget.

“However, in order to slow down spending and actually have a chance at paying down any debt, we have to acknowledge what is actually driving the majority of this spending.

“For years, Mr. Speaker, spending on mandatory programs has been on autopilot. It grows unchecked every year.

“Unsurprisingly, mandatory spending, including interest on the national debt, comprises the largest share of federal spending.

“It might surprise a lot of people that listen to this program or read these remarks that, in the pie of federal spending, mandatory spending accounts for nearly 70 percent of that amount. And without reform, in the next 10 years, it will grow to nearly 80 percent of all federal spending.

“Make no mistake, Mr. Speaker, there is a critical need for mandatory programs and the benefits they provide for vulnerable people.

“But unless we come up with real solutions, safety-net programs like Social Security and Medicare will cease to exist. So programs like Social Security and Medicare that people rely on now and those who will rely on them in the future will see those benefits quickly dwindle… CBO says as early as 2026.

“I urge my colleagues to support this modest effort on the discretionary side, but I caution that a sustainable and prosperous fiscal future is contingent on addressing the mandatory side of spending. And the longer Congress takes, the more difficult those solutions will be.”

Video of Chairman Womack’s remarks can be viewed here.