New Republican chairman eyes shorter path to balanced budget

The new chairman of the House Budget Committee said on Monday that he hoped this year’s Republican budget will balance faster than the GOP's earlier plans. 

Speaking at The Heritage Foundation’s Conservative Policy Summit, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) said the panel must prepare a new budget resolution by the end of March that would balance within 10 years. 

“I hope it’s shorter than that,” Price said, adding that he will challenge new members of his panel to find a way to balance it sooner. 

A proposal with a shorter period could trigger another debate within the GOP. Rep. Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Trump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece MORE’s (R-Wis.) budget blueprints balanced within 10 years, which some conservatives opposed because it was too long a time frame. Republicans, such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.), argued last year that Ryan's budget proposal would balance within 10 years from 2014 and not from 2013, when the GOP first laid down that marker. 

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Price also spoke about his plan to explore changes to entitlement programs to prevent them from going bankrupt.

“We believe it’s important to save, strengthen and secure Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security,” Price said. “The other side seems to be okay with them going broke.” 

Price blasted Democrats who say the programs are not at risk.

“That’s not only irresponsible, it’s deceitful,” he added. “They’re just not telling you the truth. We continue as a nation to be sticking our heads in the sand.” 

The GOP has a plan, Price said, that would cover more people, save money for each person and save money for the federal government. 

Price didn’t offer many details but said Republicans might be open to increasing the age of eligibility for certain programs and providing more choices and flexibility. 

“All of those things ought to be on the table,” he said.

Price also repeated his other priorities as the new chairman of the Budget panel, which covered repealing ObamaCare, possibly using budget reconciliation to make major policy changes, reforming the budget process and reversing the nation’s debt.