Yesterday, we took the first step in beginning to address this massive debt by passing legislation that will reduce our deficit by $315 billion over the next 10 years. It was an imperfect bill, but it was a positive step that has cleared the decks and allowed us to focus on cutting trillions of dollars, not just billions of dollars.

Chairman Ryan and the members of the Budget Committee have done an excellent job putting together a budget worthy of the American people. This budget will help job creation today, lift the crushing burden of debt that threatens our children’s future, and preserve and protect programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Most importantly, this budget shows families and small businesses that we’re serious about dealing with America’s spending illness so we can put our country on a path to prosperity. 

The Ryan budget sets the bar for the debate going forward. President Obama had an opportunity to match it. Unfortunately, he gave a partisan speech about the need for more spending, more taxing, and more borrowing.  He said he wants to target our debt problem through a so-called ‘debt failsafe’ but exempts the major entitlement programs that account for most of the long-term debt problem. And he proposed yet another commission even though he ignored the recommendations of his last one.

Instead of offering serious solutions, the President is asking Congress to raise the debt limit without addressing Washington’s spending problem. The President wants a clean bill. The American people will not tolerate it.  Now let me be clear: there will be no debt limit increase unless it is accompanied by meaningful spending cuts and budget reforms. 

We delivered this message to the President on Wednesday at the White House. We cannot continue to borrow recklessly, dig ourselves deeper into this hole, and mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren. The American people are looking for real leadership to address this debt crisis. Unfortunately, the president has failed to put a serious proposal on the table. 

If the president won’t lead, we will. No more kicking the can down the road, no more whistling past the graveyard – now is the time to address the serious challenges that face the American people, and we will.