Boyle Opening Statement at Markup of Republicans’ FY 2024 Budget

Sep 20, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, delivered opening remarks at a Budget Committee markup of House Republicans' FY 2024 budget resolution.

Ranking Member Boyle’s remarks as delivered:


Now, ten days, ten days and a little under 14 hours from now, this government will shut down, completely unnecessarily. Back in June, something happened that many critics thought could not happen. And that is a truly bipartisan budget agreement was reached. 


It raised the debt ceiling for approximately a year and a half. In addition, it set what the funding would be, both discretionary — non-defense discretionary — as well as defense, for the next year. And when I say bipartisan, sometimes, you know, that word is thrown around and it means all of your side and one person on the other side voted for it. I don't mean that kind of bipartisanship.


I mean genuine bipartisanship. 80 percent of House Democrats joined 67 percent of House Republicans. to vote for that piece of legislation, myself included. There were things in that bill I did not agree with. Spending priorities that I had, that were not reflected in that bill. But I recognized that it was a compromise, as did 80 percent of my Democratic colleagues and a strong majority of my Republican colleagues.


It passed the Senate by an incredible bipartisan vote, and was signed into law by the President. So, why are we here? We are here because Speaker McCarthy has decided to renege on that piece of legislation that passed in June and was signed into law. And by the way, what ultimately funds the government, whether it's in the next 10 days or we have to go through a government shutdown, I will offer you this prediction:


It will look largely like that piece of legislation that passed the House and passed the Senate, back in June, and was signed by the President. So, all of this on the Republican side, seeing a rule, again, not pass on the house floor, which hadn't happened in 20 years until this year, seeing intra-party sniping on the other side, all of it is completely unnecessary.


And I want people to understand, because I'm not sure everyone around here does. A government shutdown has real life ramifications. A shutdown actually shaves off documented percentage points — a rule of thumb is a tenth of a percent every month from our GDP. That's jobs. That's tax revenue. That's money that goes to programs that people rely on.


The last three government shutdowns cost American taxpayers 56,500 years in lost productivity from our federal workforce being furloughed. Contrary to popular belief, a government shutdown actually costs us money. It doesn't save a dime. It costs us more money. It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility.


So, you know, I just go back to when I was growing up. I learned that once you make an agreement, you don't renege on it. You stick with it. We reached an honorable, fair agreement that passed by an overwhelming number despite all of the critics saying it was impossible. It is time for us to get back to that agreement.


It is time for all of us to honor our commitments and make sure that this country does not enforce a government shutdown on the American people. Because I say this: the history of the last three decades has been clear. The party that forces a government shutdown loses the next election and loses it badly.


With that, I'll yield back.