More than the bare minimum

By Reps. Kevin Hern and Jim Banks

When voters send their elected officials to Washington, they have certain expectations for us.

First, they expect us to show up to work, be present in the House of Representatives, vote on legislation, and participate in our assigned committees. This is the bare minimum of our constitutional requirement.

Next, they expect us to be their voice in our nation’s capital. Our constituents expect us to put them first and advocate our districts’ unique needs.

Finally, as the stewards of their tax dollars, we are expected to spend that money wisely.

Under President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s leadership, the government is failing.

Many members of Congress haven’t been to the Capitol in two years. Legislation is more and more often written behind closed doors and only by Speaker Pelosi, shutting out hundreds of members and their unique perspectives. Every new bill tries to outspend the one before it, blatantly disregarding taxpayers.

The people have faced crisis after crisis, but no one in the Democratic Party has figured out the common denominator.

We talk to our constituents every day. They know exactly what’s happening and who’s to blame. They see the cause-and-effect relationship between Biden’s spending and rising inflation. They watch as Biden deflects the blame on to businesses, or Putin, or anyone but himself.

Our constituents watched Biden kill their energy jobs and drive down domestic oil production with burdensome regulations. They saw gas prices immediately spike, and now, they see an unsympathetic president whose No. 1 solution is for people to buy luxury electric vehicles.

The people are exasperated. They don’t understand how Biden can continue down his current path, unless the destruction of our economy is intentional.

The spending has to stop. It’s too late to prevent the damage that’s already been done, but it’s not too late to reverse course.

That’s why we wrote a budget for all. Our budget cuts spending and restores fiscal responsibility. It’s not a conservative budget — it’s an American budget, and it balances in just seven years.

A balanced budget isn’t new — the federal budget yielded a surplus in 2001. For 21 years, we have grown more and more accustomed to spending tax dollars like monopoly money. Your elected representatives are emboldened to spend as quickly as possible because they forget where the money comes from: hardworking families.

Congress doesn’t have any money of our own — it all comes from the taxpayers. As a senator, Joe Biden saw many balanced budgets pass Congress. He was there for decades of relative fiscal responsibility, and he was also there when the wheels came off the train. Now that he’s in the White House, his policies are so far removed from any semblance of fiscal responsibility, he can’t even remember what it feels like to balance a budget.

His spending is directly at fault for the current economic crisis. It hurts all, but especially those with the least.

The last time inflation was this high, in the 70s and early 80s, we had a brutal recession. Many of you remember it as a time of intense hardship for nearly everyone. It took us nearly a decade to recover. We’re worried the United States is about to repeat history, and Biden is doing nothing to stop it.

A budget is not a magic wand. It won’t solve our problems immediately, but it’s an important and necessary first step. A budget outlines your values, as Speaker Pelosi has often said. It shows your intentions and the way you wish to govern.

Our budget will do just that. It outlines a clear agenda that Americans can rely on when they elect us to the majority in the House of Representatives.

Americans are tired of the bare minimum. They want a government that works tirelessly for the people and does the hard work of balancing a budget and sticking to it.

It won’t be easy, but fiscally responsible leadership is the only way to dig us out of Biden’s debt disaster.

Rep. Kevin Hern represents Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District and leads the Republican Study Committee’s Budget and Spending Task Force. Rep. Jim Banks represents Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District and chairs the Republican Study Committee.

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