This is the second post in a series of posts involving the budget battles in the House. We will follow this closely.
The Republican Study Committee, a caucus of about 106 Republican members, have introduced a balanced budget based on the 1995 Contract with America. Congressman Mike Pence (R-Indiana), who many bloggers are trying to draft for a presidential run (He'd have my vote if Mark Sanford doesn't run), is the chairman of this caucus.
The motto of FreedomWorks (Some may remember them as Citizens for a Sound Economy) is simple. Lower taxes, Less Government, More Freedom. Freedomworks is, like many conservative less government organizations, sick and tired of the spending by Washington. FreedomWorks is founded by former Congressman Dick Armey and is a grass roots organization which is part-think tank, and part activist group. In Michigan, FreedomWorks opposed and demonstrated against Howard Dean for his comments on tax cuts, and Senators Levin and Stabenow for using the blue slips against Michigan judges.
About ten of us from Michigan, along with members from North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, and Wisconsin, were flown in to Washington from FreedomWorks. The highlight for me there was being a part of the RSC's press conference. There Congressmen Mike Pence and Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) held a press conference introducing a budget based on the 1995 Contract With America. The RSC's Budget is posted online here. There was a core group of Republican congressmen and congresswomen there supporting the budget. Reps Pence, Hensarling, Trent Franks, Jeff Flake, Marlilyn Musgrave, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, Marsha Blackburn, Paul Ryan, Steve King, John Shadegg, Scott Garrett, John Campbell, and Patrick McHenry all spoke in support of the budget at the conference.
These congressmen and congresswomen understand what most government officials today do not. Washington needs to live with their means just as the rest of us need to do.
This budget will return us Republicans to our roots. With todays spending, I have to always clarify that I'm a "1994 Republican" as opposed to todays "big government conservatism." We did not, and do not need "No Child Left Behind", McCain/Feingold, the Perscription Drugs plan, and massive porks and earmarks like the Bridge to Nowhere. Overall, with the exception of a few individuals, both parties have failed us on these measures.
I have no use whatsoever for the massive spending going on by both parties. That needs to change, and if the RSC's budget passes, it will change. I call on Congress and the Senate to pass this the RSC's budget, and for President Bush to sign it. This is a good first step at a balanced budget. We all have to live within our means. It's time for government to do so.