Republicans on the House Budget Committee are set to consider the party’s long-term blueprint for the nation’s budget next week, the panel’s chair confirmed.
Budget Committee Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) told The Hill the committee is preparing to mark up the budget resolution next Wednesday, describing the proposal as a 10-year budget roadmap aimed at “restoring fiscal responsibility.”
“We’re fired up about it,” Arrington said. “It’s going to have elements of right-sizing the bureaucracy and the discretionary spending.”
The plan won’t be signed into law, but it can provide a glimpse into the party’s thinking on how the government should be funded over the long term.
It was expected to come out earlier this year but was put on the back burner in the spring as a heated partisan clash over the debt limit dominated attention in Washington for months.
The planned markup also comes as tensions are again on the rise on Capitol Hill amid several spending clashes ahead of a looming deadline this month to prevent a government shutdown.
But Arrington isn’t expecting the committee’s budget markup to be delayed despite the current spending fight.
“Ours is a 10-year, not one year, budget, and it includes the spending that’s driving the debt, and that’s the 70 percent of the budget that’s mandatory,” he said. “It’s 90 percent of the growth out into the future.”
“They complement each other, and a lot of the things that we’re talking about here have to be done, not only this year, but every year on the discretionary side,” he said of the ongoing appropriations process and the budget committee’s work. “And we have that mapped out for the next 10 years.”
The plan isn’t expected to take on changes to Social Security and Medicare, however. While both programs face threats of insolvency in the years ahead, some lawmakers are doubtful of any reforms to the popular programs in the current congressional session as the election cycle heats up.
Some Republicans are instead looking to a commission to explore changes to the programs, while both parties focus more attention on the discretionary spending Congress is currently debating as part of the annual funding process.
However, Arrington said he plans for the resolution to “address mandatory spending” as well as “the need” for reforms to entitlement programs, which account for a chunk of mandatory spending not subject to the annual appropriations process.
“Our interest on the debt is about to exceed the entire defense budget,” he said. “So, we got to work on the mandatory spending, rein it in and bring down the interest payments.”