By Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-5th)
This week, the House Budget Committee marked up and passed the budget resolution, continuing the budget process between the White House and the Congress. The budget reflects the priorities set forth by the President in his budget outline with targeted, strategic investments that strengthen the economy and ensure economic stability over the long-term This budget makes a down payment on health care reform, creates a path to energy independence, and reforms and invests in education. While the budget makes these necessary investments, it also reduces the deficit by nearly two-thirds by 2013 and makes significant strides to restore our budget sustainability. I expect to bring the budget resolution to the House Floor for a vote next week.
While the budget was being marked-up in committee this week, it was fitting that we also observed Cover the Uninsured Week. In this economy, America faces many serious challenges, but the rising cost of health care represents one of the greatest threats to our economic growth and long-term fiscal stability. Therefore, the Democratic budget demonstrates a commitment to reduce out-of-control health care costs, including deficit-neutral reform that will expand coverage, improve quality, and preserve choice of health plan and provider. Our short-term and long-term efforts will provide needed relief to millions of American families.
Next week, the House will consider the Senate version of the Serve America Act, a top priority for President Obama, which will create new service opportunities for more Americans to volunteer and give back to their communities to help them through the current economic crisis. I expect that the House will pass this bill and quickly send it to the President for his signature.