ICYMI: Rep. Kelly Confronts Treasury Secretary Over President’s New Budget

Feb 12, 2016 Issues: Spending Cuts and Debt

“The American people have lost confidence in the way we run this country”


WASHINGTON — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) – a member of the House Ways and Means Committee – addressed U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew at yesterday’s full committee hearing on President Obama’s budget proposals for the Department of Treasury for fiscal year 2017.

Excerpts of Rep. Kelly’s remarks to Secretary Lew:

“I think sometimes we become confused as to who it is we work for. I don’t really view you as working for the administration; I view you as working for the American people.”

“I know people at home, where I’m coming from, if they were watching this they would have fallen into this coma because of the Washingtonese where nobody understands what’s actually being said. … But the mission statement for [Treasury Department is]: ‘Maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively.’”

“A budget is … exactly where you need to be going. It’s a road map. Now, we may call it visionary of where we’d like things to go, but where I’m from, in Western Pennsylvania, it’s more kitchen table economics where a husband and a wife sit down to figure out what do they have to work with revenue-wise, and that dictates what they can spend. In Washington, we dictate what we’re going to spend, and don’t come anywhere close to being able to pay for that.”

“And the other conversation on inversions—this is terrible. I mean honestly, we need to put that poster up that says, ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves.’ We keep accusing these people [business owners]: ‘Tax cheats.’ ‘These people are terrible.’ … When we talk about these people going overseas, they don’t go overseas because they hate America; they’re going overseas because we’re making it impossible for them to be profitable here.”

“You can’t borrow your way out of debt. And we’re continuing to build this debt and it’s going to capsize this entire country. There is no difference between kitchen table [economics] and what we are talking about. The only difference here is we can raise taxes, or can print our own money. You can’t do that at home. And that’s where the big separation is. I must tell you, the American people have lost confidence in the way we run this country.”