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Republican Study Committee Releases FY 2019 Budget: A Framework for Unified Conservatism

Apr 25, 2018
Press Release

Washington - Republican Study Committee (RSC) Chairman Mark Walker and RSC Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Tom McClintock, today, released the RSC’s annual budget proposal for FY 2019 entitled “A Framework for Unified Conservatism.” The latest iteration of the RSC’s hallmark policy product balances in eight years while fully funding defense at President Donald Trump’s requested funding levels.

The budget includes input from members of Congress, Congressional Committees, conservative think tanks and the executive branch to produce more than 300 specific policy reforms and spending cuts. It also reiterates conservative support for using reconciliation to repeal Obamacare, reform the welfare programs, and rein in other mandatory spending. 

RSC Chairman Walker heralded this year’s budget proposal at this particular time in Congress: “We went back to the drawing board with the goal of charting a path forward so the fiscal and defense wings of the conservative movement can come together. I’m proud to say that our Budget and Spending Task Force accomplished this goal in creating our most impressive budget to date.”

“A Framework for Unified Conservatism” is the result of the Budget and Spending Task Force, consisting of dozens of members of the Republican Study Committee, meeting over several months. In these meetings, members work with leading conservative minds to tackle America’s looming fiscal issues. 

“Curbing spending is the only way to control our deficits and ballooning debt. Without resolute action now, we run the risk of an unstoppable debt spiral and ultimately a sovereign debt crisis. History warns us that countries that bankrupt themselves aren’t around very long,” said Budget and Spending Task Force Chairman Tom McClintock. “The RSC budget points the way back to solvency and prosperity, but every day we delay, our choices become harder. One thing is clear: inaction is not an option.”

Rep. Jim Banks praised the release of this year’s RSC budget saying “The Republican Study Committee’s FY 2019 budget creates a path forward that both balances in under a decade and prioritizes a strong national defense – breaking the misguided notion that defense spending must be matched by non-defense spending. With topline funding set at the same levels as the Trump administration’s proposal, this budget will give our armed forces the resources needed to address our readiness crisis while preparing for strategic competition on the world stage.”

The FY 2019 budget proposal can be found here. The executive summary can be found here.

Key Features: 
Unites Conservatives by accomplishing long-time conservative priorities

  • Reins in federal spending to present a path to balance in eight years.
  • Refocuses federal spending on core constitutional responsibilities like national security.
  • Provides reconciliation instructions to allow for mandatory spending reforms, Obamacare repeal, welfare reform, and the permanent extension of tax cuts.

Fully funds national security as threats emerge from North Korea, Iran, Russia and China.

  • Honors the President’s defense funding request with $716 billion in FY 2019, increasing to $800 billion in FY 2028, for a total of $7.571 trillion for national security over the next decade.
  • Breaks the artificial “firewall” in discretionary spending to deconstruct the notion of parity between national security spending and the bloated non-defense programs.
  • Invests in readiness, a robust naval fleet, and responsiveness to threats in multiple theaters.

Provides A Responsible Fiscal Path

  • Reduces spending by more than $12.4 trillion compared to current law over ten years.
  • Balances the budget in 8 years.
  • Lowers FY 2019 non-defense discretionary to $355 billion and reverses planned cap increases.
  • Cuts and eliminations target programs that fall outside of Article I legislative authority and that are duplicative, unnecessary, wasteful, or ineffective and limits funding for unauthorized programs.

Makes Social Security Solvent

  • Implements the Social Security Reform Act, to achieve long-term sustainable solvency.
  • Phases in an increase of the eligibility age to 70 to keep up with increases in longevity.
  • Updates to a more accurate system for calculating cost-of-living adjustments for those most in need.
  • Modernizes the benefit formula for new retirees, provides additional support for the most vulnerable, reduces barriers to staying active in retirement, and prohibits overpayment debt discharge.

Saves Medicare

  • Saves and improves Medicare by providing more choices, lower costs, and a simpler model.
  • Reduces costs for beneficiaries by implementing premium support in 2023, while including traditional fee-for-service as an option.
  • Phases in an increase to eligibility age to align with Social Security and account for longer lifespans.
  • Combines Parts A & B, reforms Medigap, and phases in increased premiums and means testing.
  • Without reform, the Medicare Trust Fund is depleted by 2029.

Empowers Americans to Ensure Opportunity, Upward Mobility, and Self-Sufficiency

  • Rewards work and earned success to empower American individuals, families, & local communities.
  • Requires work, job search or training, or volunteering by all able-bodied adults to qualify for government assistance.
  • Implements reforms to eliminate marriage penalties, fight fraud, and allow for more state flexibility.
  • Postpones benefits until full-citizenship granted.

Restores Article I and Fixes the Budget Process

  • Identifies reforms to restore a properly limited and accountable federal government.  
  • Holds the administrative state accountable to the people.
  • Permanently bans earmarks, restores the Article I power of the purse, increases transparency, undoes permanent authorizations, and promotes conversion of mandatory programs to discretionary.

Protects Conservative Values

  • Protects the Second Amendment, secures the border, protects life, and preserves religious liberty.