To: Interested Parties
From: Heritage Action for America
Date: February 9, 2016
Subject: House Should Pass A Conservative Budget
Today, President Obama released his final budget. In an impressive display of political messaging, Republicans on Capitol Hill will largely ignore the budget because it will be a fundamentally unserious document that doubles down on the Obama administration's failed progressive ideals. The challenge for Republicans, though, will be to put forward a serious budget that doubles down on conservative priorities and unites the party.
In 2015, the House passed a FY16 budget with the support of 228 Republicans. That budget incorporated the BCA levels and exploited the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) loophole to plus up defense spending levels. It also proposed breaking the firewall between defense and non-defense discretionary spending starting in FY17.
Seven months later, as part of then-Speaker John Boehner's efforts to "clean out the barn," Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) with the support of just 79 House Republicans. The BBA increased the budget caps by $50 billion in FY16 and $30 billion in the upcoming FY17, split between defense and non-defense.
This month, the new leadership team will ask conservatives to support that new budget level. Not only is it $30 billion above what conservatives agreed to in the last budget resolution, but the elevated spending level was unanimously supported by congressional Democrats. The elevated BBA funding level has no business being in a conservative Republican budget blueprint.
A Conservative Budget
Last month, Heritage Action put forward four criteria necessary for conservatives to support a congressional budget.