Appointment of Conferees on S. Con. Res. 11, Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2016

Floor Speech


Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my chairman for yielding me the time.

I have a great deal of respect for the gentleman from Maryland. I am just categorically opposed to the motion to instruct, but it is good that we are down here doing motions to instruct. Because what we have an opportunity to do, Mr. Speaker, for the first time since

I was elected to this body 4 years ago, is to send House Members and Senate Members together and actually establish a budget of the United States.

Mr. Speaker, I wasn't teasing. I was elected 4 years and 4 months ago, and this is the first time that we have been able to come together--and not just on a budget, but on a balanced budget--under the idea that it might be immoral to pay for our benefits today on the backs of our children yet to be born, that that might just be the wrong thing to do.

Mr. Speaker, in particular, in this motion to instruct, what troubles me is the attempt to do away with the Medicare premium support program that we have been working so hard to establish.

If anyone has a mom or dad who is on Medicare, if anybody is on Medicare themselves, they have experienced two things. They have experienced going into the doctor's office and questioning some provision of benefits, asking the question about whether or not this should be provided, whether or not this is the right cost, and they have had a physician say, they have had a hospital attendant say: What do you care? Medicare is going to pick that up.

You know it is true. Every single person has had that happen in their family, and the result of that is a Medicare Program that will not be there for us.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know if everybody across the country knows, but everybody in this Chamber knows that most American families pay more in Medicare and Social Security taxes than they do in income taxes. The highest tax burden on most American families is not the income tax; it is the tax we pay for the promise that Social Security and Medicare will be there for us when we need it the most.

There is only one budget we have got to vote on in this town that solves that Medicare issue, that says: You know what, we know the program is going to go bankrupt, and we know there are no easy solutions, but we are going to make the tough decisions today. We are not going to put it off until tomorrow.

My friend from Maryland said he wished the rules were different so that we could just substitute the Democratic budget for the budget that was passed in this House. Of course, that budget raised taxes by $2 trillion and did nothing to solve this problem--nothing to solve this problem.

The Medicare premium support system holds the promise of keeping the commitments that we have made to every single working American through the Medicare and Social Security Programs.

If you didn't want to take tough votes, don't run for Congress. If you didn't want to be in the solutions business, you just wanted to be in the blame business, don't run for Congress.

If you want to be in the business of restoring the faith of the folks who pay that heavy tax burden, that the promises we make today will be there for them tomorrow, there is but one budget on Capitol Hill that fills that need, and this House had the wisdom to pass it. This House had the wisdom to pass it, Mr. Speaker.

I am so proud that, when we had an opportunity to either kick the can down the road or make the tough decisions, we said, Not on our watch will we break more of these promises. It is all done by giving patients more choice. Imagine that radical idea: give patients choice in their medical decisions.

Folks love their Medicare, Mr. Speaker, but they don't love it as much as they love their Medicare Advantage. Have you seen those numbers? Folks love their Medicare Advantage. For the first time in Medicare history, we gave patients choice. It is the most popular program in Medicare.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, this administration has been trying to stomp the life out of that program since the day it was elected, but the program persists because the American people love it.

You want to talk about doubling down on something, Mr. Speaker; we are doubling down on patient choice. We are doubling down on the idea that, if you put Americans in charge of their own healthcare decisions, they will make better decisions than the government will on their behalf.

We cannot fail at this. We cannot fail. We owe America a balanced budget, and we owe America the confidence that the promises we made in exchange for the highest tax bill that they pay will be there for them when they retire.