Press Releases

Simpson Questions White House Budget Director

Washington, February 15, 2011
Responding to claims that Obama’s budget included serious cuts and amounted to a “tough love” budget, Congressman Simpson said, “What the American people are saying is, ‘Get your fiscal house in order.’ I don’t see this budget getting our fiscal house in order. We are going to have $400 billion savings in [Obama’s] budget over ten years. You say the overall size of the budget this year is $3.73 trillion. But you only offer $40 billion in savings per year? That is around one percent in savings. That is not tough love. It is continuing the current path we are on, with no future balanced budget ever. The American people are rejecting it.”

Today in the House Budget Committee, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson questioned White House Budget Director Jacob Lew regarding President Obama’s fiscal year 2012 budget, which was released on Monday. 

Responding to claims that Obama’s budget included serious cuts and amounted to a “tough love” budget, Congressman Simpson said, “What the American people are saying is, ‘Get your fiscal house in order.’ I don’t see this budget getting our fiscal house in order.  We are going to have $400 billion savings in [Obama’s] budget over ten years.  You say the overall size of the budget this year is $3.73 trillion. But you only offer $40 billion in savings per year?  That is around one percent in savings.  That is not tough love.  It is continuing the current path we are on, with no future balanced budget ever.  The American people are rejecting it.”

Simpson focused his questions on the size of President Obama’s budget and the need to create a balanced federal budget every year. 

“I’ve heard [Democrats say] that we need to make tough choices, we have to live within our means,” said Simpson. “Let me ask, is there a balance projected in this budget?” 

Director Lew responded, “To get to balance will require a set of decisions that are beyond what anyone is discussing right now… We’ve gone through ten years of a combination of things that have driven the deficit up, we’ve had an economic crisis, but we’ve also had decisions to not pay for what we’re doing.  We now are going to have to deal with the results of that and it’s not going to be a quick process…”

After the hearing Simpson said, “I am disappointed to hear that balancing the budget is not even a part of the conversation in the White House. Fortunately, it is a discussion that is happening in earnest amongst House Republicans, and some Democrats.”

Simpson is a member of the House Budget Committee and is an original cosponsor of H.J.Res. 2, which would amend the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget every year.  The bill has 194 cosponsors.

The entirety of Congressman Simpson’s questions can be seen on his YouTube page.