Reining in out-of-control federal spending and paying down our national debt has been, and will continue to be, one of my top priorities as your voice in Washington, DC. As a member of the House Budget Committee, I've played an active role in crafting the five budget resolutions put forth by the House Republicans since we took control of the House in 2011, and looking back now, I'm proud of what we've accomplished in five short years. Federal discretionary spending fell each year from 2011 to 2014, and federal deficits are 70% lower today than they were in 2009, which was President Obama's first year in office. In fact, this past fiscal year we had the lowest federal deficit we've seen since we had a Republican President in the White House. And none of that is funny Washington, DC math, those are real dollars!
Of course we have a lot more work to do, as our national debt exceeds $18 trillion today, and though we've had a great deal of success reining in federal discretionary spending over the last few years, if we are ever going to reach a point where we can begin paying down our national debt, it is absolutely essential that we address the driver of our budget deficits and national debt: mandatory federal spending. Mandatory spending is the kind of federal spending that occurs year after year without Congressional approval; it's sometimes referred to as "autopilot" spending. Mandatory spending includes programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs--including Obamacare, interest on our national debt, certain tax expenditures, and more. While many of those programs are vitally important, they will be responsible for 84% of the growth in federal spending over the next decade, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
I'm committed to crafting federal budgets that will tackle the difficult fiscal challenges that lie ahead for our nation, and I'm confident that the House Budget Committee, under the leadership of fellow Georgia Representative Tom Price (R-GA), will continue to build on the successes we've had in recent years. I look forward to your continued partnership in that effort.