House Republicans prevent expansion of ‘unfunded liabilities’
In 2010, House Republicans pledged to review programs such as Social Security and Medicare and prevent the expansion of "unfunded liabilities.”
They said they would require "a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities."
Since then, Congress hasn't significantly touched Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.
That means a mixed bag for fulfilling the terms of lawmakers' pledge. Have they required a full accounting of entitlement programs and set benchmarks for regular review? No. But neither has there been an expansion.
"On that front, the long-term situation hasn't gotten any more dire," said Jason Peuquet, research director for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. "That's not to say that we've actually made improvement."
The Speaker's Office pointed to several unsuccessful efforts to follow through on the lawmakers' promise to reform budgeting, including the Baseline Reform Act and the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act.
"Obviously they've kept faith with their original intent,” Peuquet said.
Meanwhile, the House passed a budget each spring that included structural changes to Medicare and Medicaid that would have capped their rate of growth — but those didn't go anywhere.
House Republicans pledged to require "a full accounting of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, setting benchmarks for these programs and reviewing them regularly, and preventing the expansion of unfunded liabilities." They achieved half of that promise, which we rate a Compromise.
Speaker.gov, "Keeping the Pledge to America: How Republicans Have Fought to Create Jobs, Cut Spending, & Change the Way Congress Does Business," Sept. 20, 2012
Speaker.gov, "Ending the Baseline Budget Bias Toward Big Government Spending That Hurts Job Growth," Feb. 2, 2012
Speaker.gov, "Keeping the Pledge: House Passes Another in Series of Budget Reforms," Feb. 7, 2012
Rep. Paul Ryan, "Path to Prosperity" FY2012, accessed Jan. 8, 2013
Rep. Paul Ryan, "Path to Prosperity" FY2013, accessed Jan. 8, 2013
Interview with Jason Peuquet, research director, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Jan. 8, 2013