Rep. Rob Bishop Comments on the President’s Budget
WASHINGTON— President Barack Obama today released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2015. The President's budget contains requests and recommendations to Congress that they may consider during the development of the official federal budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) issued the following statement in response to the President's proposed budget for FY2015.
"This budget will be a useful campaign tool for some Democrats, and after reviewing it, I am confident that is its intended purpose. However, it is possible, even within this politically motivated budget, to find a small but important silver lining. I was pleased to see the President support proposals to fund suppression of the most severe forest fire activity. Wildfire has plagued the West and often, during extraordinary circumstances, funding needs can grow beyond the federal funding caps.
"I am particularly concerned by the recommendation for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to receive $900 million, 64% of which would go toward land acquisition. The federal government already fails to keep up with management on the 650 million acres it already owns. This is further compounded by the fact that the President's budget woefully underfunds Payment in Lieu of Taxes, something that affects Utah and other western public lands states. Apparently he views acquisition of more land as a greater priority than supporting counties and states that struggle to fund essential services and infrastructure. This is just one of many examples of misplaced priorities within the budget.
"If the President's proposal were to be enacted, it would mean new taxes and fees for our nation's energy producers and would require our military personnel to shoulder 27% more in health care costs. We do not recruit and sustain the finest all-volunteer military force in the world by continuing to nickel and dime them and their families to death even as we call on them to sacrifice so much abroad in defense of our country.
"As our military's aging fleet of aircraft struggle to keep pace with new technological advancements occurring around the world, the President's budget would further reduce the number of F-35 aircraft that will be built in FY15 by eight. Such actions would delay the program and drive up costs. Further reducing our air capabilities, the President proposes to cut the A-10 Warthog aircraft. The A-10 has proven to be effective in providing close air support for our troops. With nothing comparable to take its place, this will further hollow out our defense capabilities. As the President proposes a plan to weaken U.S. defense systems, other countries like China and Russia continue to bolster their air and ground capabilities. Right now, China and Russia are modernizing and advancing missile defense technologies, whereas funding to modernize the U.S. ballistic missile defense system is missing from the budget.
"Under President Obama's leadership, America is getting left behind on many fronts. His budget also proposes cuts to NASA's Space Launch System by $331 million but increases funding for commercial space technology by nearly the same amount. With the President's untimely cancellation of NASA's manned space exploration program, and our subsequent reliance on Russia to get to space, it seems irresponsible to lose sight of supporting America's core rocket technology capabilities. Relying on Russia for anything seems dangerous on a good day, but especially today with the deterioration of U.S.-Russia political relations.
"This budget is concerning on many fronts beyond the aforementioned. However, I am confident that the House will carefully scrutinize these recommendations as we work to develop a responsible budget that supports and advances the interests and priorities of the hardworking American people."