A close look must be taken at entitlement reform as the national debt continues to grow, or Social Security will not be solvent in the next decade, Rep. Mark Walker, who chairs the House Republican Study Committee, warned Tuesday.
"The president talked about not touching some entitles," the North Carolina Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom."
"Social Security will not be solvent in the next decade if we don't handle some of these items."
House leaders are expected to release their $1.3 trillion spending bill this week. It must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed by President Donald Trump before Saturday, or there could be a partial federal shutdown, reports USA Today. The measure would fund the government through the rest of the current fiscal year, which runs through Sept. 30.
Walker said where Social Security is concerned, if lawmakers don't deal with the issue now, the program will not exist in 12 years.
"I'm 48; by the time I'm 60, it will not be in existence," said Walker. "Republicans have both Houses and the administration. It's time to bend this bell curve. We have to show discipline and be the adults in the room. Someone has to step up. Republicans have to step up and bend this back."
Walker said the $1.3 billion bill is "very concerning for many of us here."
"Even if you look at the first several years with the Obama administration, you had deficits of 35 percent, and we're looking at something close to 17 percent this year, 21 percent next year," said Walker. "The defense funding needs to go up. I get that. I've stood in the empty missile silos, $63 billion for non-discretionary spending [is a] major problem ... we have to do better than that."
Meanwhile, Trump has called for $1.6 billion for a border wall, and Walker said that's "strictly tied to our defense."
"We've seen the gang violence and we appreciate the president and government correcting those," said Walker. "Human trafficking is another issue. We've seen the sanctuary city issues ... but there are non-discretionary defense items we can curve back."
Walker, though, said he does expect a deal to be reached so the government can keep going.
"Appropriators worked all night to make sure the pro-life provisions are not affected," he added. "We appreciate those guys. It's trending in the right direction but we need more."
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