Now is the time to balance the budget

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Each year, the president is required by law to deliver his budget for the upcoming fiscal year to Congress the first Monday in February. But for the fourth time in five years this administration's budget is late. If the president can’t submit a budget to Congress on time, how can we take his claims of wanting to cut the deficit seriously? And Senate Democrats have not only failed to show how they would balance the budget, they’ve gone four years without passing any budget at all. Every family has to balance its budget, and every business must balance its books. Washington should be held to that same standard.
 
Yesterday, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its budget and economic outlook report for the next decade. CBO predicts that economic growth will stay slow this year and that unemployment will remain above 7.5 percent. If CBO is right in its projection, 2014 will mark the sixth consecutive year that unemployment has exceeded 7.5 percent — the longest period of high unemployment in the last 70 years.
 
Also troubling, the CBO predicts that over 10 years, we will add nearly $7 trillion to the deficit. This is unsustainable, and the only way to prevent more trillion dollar deficits is to pass a responsible budget that cuts spending, balances our budget and puts our economy back on track.
 
Today, I will vote for the Require a Plan Act. This legislation, introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), would require the White House to either produce a budget that balances within 10 years or provide a supplemental budget plan by April 1, 2013, that identifies which fiscal year they will achieve a balanced budget. The American people deserve an explanation of why Washington can’t stop wasting their hard-earned tax dollars, and I will continue to support measures to bring wasteful Washington spending under control, balance our budget and hold Washington accountable. Both parties are responsible for the mess we’re in, but it’s time to stop the blame game and step up to the plate. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us.

Roe is a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee.