ELKHART — With a budget proposal put forth by the U.S. House and another competing plan expected from the U.S. Senate, the nation faces a decision, as U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski sees it.
“We can either go down the road of living within our means and ratcheting back the debt or we can go down the path of more spending and more debt,” the Republican from Elkhart said Friday, March 23.
Walorski, addressing the annual Elkhart County Republican Party Lincoln Day celebration, sides with the House plan, approved by the GOP-led body on Thursday. It contains no new taxes, proponents say, and balances the budget in 10 years on $4.6 trillion in spending cuts, cuts that critics worry could hurt the needy and some of the most vulnerable groups.
A competing plan is likely to emerge from the Democrat-led Senate, containing a mix of new taxes and cuts, and Walorski was critical of that proposal. It doesn’t balance the U.S. budget, she charged, and would result in $1.2 trillion in tax increases.
“This Senate bill is not a common-sense plan. It’ll keep more money in the pockets of government,” she said.
Whatever the case, with two plans taking shape, the public has options, and that, Walorski said, is good. “We wanted to have a choice, and the choice is before us tonight,” she said.
Presuming a Senate plan emerges, the sides will look for middle ground and the American public will be able to sound off.
“That’s what happens after this, is to look for middle ground,” she said after her public remarks. “That’s where the American people are going to have the chance to weigh in. They’re going to be calling their House members and they’ll be calling their senators.”
The U.S. deficit and efforts to craft a budget that helps narrow the gap are the focus of lawmakers’ attention in Washington, D.C.
U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, also a Republican, was also planning to address the group Friday, but he had to cancel the plans to take part in the ongoing Senate budget deliberations in Washington. Coats, like Walorski and other Republicans, has criticized the plan taking shape in the Senate.