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Federal budget deserves attention
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By Tim Huelskamp
United States Congress

With America quickly approaching $16 trillion in debt, we can no longer afford to increase federal government spending every single year — a practice that has been done for generations.
It is not enough to merely reduce the rate at which spending grows; no, the bottom line has to be cut. Families, small businesses, and the next generation are counting on us to get our act together and scale back spending now.
That is why this week several of my colleagues and I unveiled an alternative budget that would not only reduce, but freeze federal spending. Among the seven budgets considered this past week, our Republican Study Committee budget was the only one that brought down discretionary spending to below $1 trillion, froze spending at that level for five years, and actually balanced within a matter of years — not decades.
The budget fully repealed ObamaCare and contained much-needed reforms for Medicaid and welfare. Entitlement programs are quickly consuming our budget, and while we must preserve them for our most vulnerable citizens, changes cannot wait: taxpayers deserve more accountability for how their hard-earned dollars are spent. This budget ultimately did not pass, but it received 136 Republican “yes” votes.
The House considered President Obama’s budget. It failed by a margin of 0-414.
And, the House considered the Budget Committee’s “Path to Prosperity” budget. I did not support this budget because it lacked critical language that would force Congress to hold a vote on tax reform. The RSC budget I introduced and supported contained these instructions known as “Reconciliation.” Without this language, any talk of “tax reform” remains just talk. Last year’s budget contained “tax reform,” tort reform, and Medicare and Medicaid reform, and that budget passed, but those things never happened.
Affordable Energy
When President Obama was running for office he told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle that “If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
President Obama’s administration made good on the promise to bankrupt coal. A new regulation from the EPA would essentially keep another coal-fired plant from ever being permitted and built again. As you know, coal is one of the most affordable sources of energy available and Kansas relies heavily on it already to keep our homes and businesses running.
For a President who says he is concerned with the working family, his policies certainly do not match his words. This new rule will increase costs for coal-generated electricity. Higher costs for coal plants translate directly into massively higher consumer prices. At a time when Americans are already paying burdensome amounts at the pump, the last thing they need is a major spike in their electric bills.
I am disheartened by the news that Finney County is expected to lose more than 200 jobs as a result of the “investigative journalism” conducted by ABC News. As a result of misleading news reports, Beef Products, Inc. has announced that it is putting workers in three plants across the Midwest on leave.
Recent visitors from Great Bend and Barton County were Mike Allison, Allene Owen, Ken Roberts, Ron Straub, Kathy Straub and Jan Peters.