House Republicans, led by Oklahoma Congressman Kevin Hern, released an alternative budget Thursday that they say would put the nation back on the path to fiscal responsibility.
"We titled our budget this year the 'Blueprint to Save America'," said Rep. Hern (R-OK1) at a news conference Thursday morning, "because America truly is in crisis."
On behalf of the house GOP, the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest conservative caucus in the House, puts together a budget proposal every year.
Representative Hern chairs the RSC‘s budget and spending task force.
"A 'Blueprint to Save America' isn't just hyperbole, it’s a no nonsense plan that cuts spending, reduces deficits, and bolsters our economy," said Hern, "all things that the president’s budget fails to do."
Congressman Hern and his colleagues on the RSC point to 40-year high inflation and the highest-ever gas prices.
They say the president and Democrats’ reckless spending caused the problems and now they have no solution.
"Nancy Pelosi is blaming inflation on private businesses," said RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), "and Joe Biden‘s plan to fight inflation is to spend trillions of dollars more."
President Biden's proposed Fiscal Year 2023 budget would increase discretionary spending 9 percent to more than $1.64 trillion, while the RSC budget would limit nonessential spending to five percent growth -- $1.59 trillion -- with much of the increase going to defense spending.
"We have to start looking at things and making tough decisions," said Hern in an interview later Thursday in his office, "for the sake of the future of our children and grandchildren and all those that come beyond us."
That would include, according to a copy of the RSC plan, eliminating funding for things like Amtrak, the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP), and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Seven years of sticking with such tough decisions, Hern says, would finally yield a balanced budget.
"I’ve been asked is this the only way to get a balanced budget," Rep. Hern recalled. "No, I’m sure there are other ways, but nobody’s been willing to step forward and do it."
Congress hasn’t passed a balanced budget since the last years of the Clinton administration, more than 20 years ago.