WASHINGTON - U.S. Lou Barletta, R-11, released the following statement regarding Thursday's passage of the House budget plan introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan:

"There is no doubt that the fiscal challenges facing our nation are real and must be addressed. Congress needs to face the reality that our entitlement programs are unsustainable. We must reform these important programs to ensure they are around for current and future beneficiaries like our children and grandchildren.

"That is why I voted in favor of Chairman Ryan's budget proposal. It responsibly reduces our nation's debt, which is 17 trillion dollars and growing; simplifies our nation's tax code; repeals the president's misguided and unworkable health care law; ensures our men and women in uniform have the support they need; and balances our nation's budget.

"Like the bipartisan Ryan Murray budget agreement, I do not agree with everything included in this budget framework, and I will work to improve any future legislation that may be considered as a result of its adoption."