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Camp Opening Statement: Hearing with Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew on the President’s 2012 Budget

February 16, 2011 — Opening Statements   

Washington, DC – Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today delivered opening remarks at the Committee on Ways and Means Hearing with Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew on the President’s 2012 Budget.  Below are excerpts, followed by the full remarks.

A Missed Opportunity
“This budget is a missed opportunity – it misses the opportunity to substantially reduce spending so that our private sector can flourish; it misses the opportunity to address entitlement reform so that programs like Medicare and Social Security will be preserved not only for current beneficiaries but future generations as well; and, it is a missed opportunity to begin a substantive conversation with Congress about how we can get this nation back on track.”

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Welcome, Mr. Director.  It is good to see you again and to have you here before the Committee.  I’m sure you were hoping that your first budget in this Administration was going to be met with greater enthusiasm:

  • The Chairman of the President’s own Fiscal Commission has derided it;
  • Editorial pages from the Washington Post to the Wall Street Journal to USA Today have all panned it;
  • Even the New York Times wrote that this budget is “most definitely not is a blueprint for dealing with the real long-term problems that feed the budget deficit.”

There seems to be a pattern here, and with good reason.  This budget is a missed opportunity – it misses the opportunity to substantially reduce spending so that our private sector can flourish; it misses the opportunity to address entitlement reform so that programs like Medicare and Social Security will be preserved not only for current beneficiaries but future generations as well; and, it is a missed opportunity to begin a substantive conversation with Congress about how we can get this nation back on track.

Mr. Director, I told Secretary Geithner yesterday that I was interested in finding real solutions.  I think you will find the Members of this committee – both Republican and Democrats – are interested in doing the same. 

So, if we could, let’s begin that discussion today.  Let’s get beyond the Administration’s talking points and let’s start finding some real solutions.

I know the members are eager to hear from you and I look forward to your testimony.  But before you begin, I would now like to yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Levin, for the purposes of an opening statement.

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SUBCOMMITTEE: Select Revenue Measures    SUBCOMMITTEE: Full Committee