WASHINGTON (AP) _ As budget season opens in the capital, Republican Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida said today his party will work to bring Washington's priorities in line with those of the American people.

The GOP budget gives precedence to such concerns as improving public schools and maintaining a strong national defense, Diaz-Balart said in the weekly Republican radio address.

Topping the list is a commitment to shore up Social Security and make sure that money set aside for the program is not diverted for other federal spending, he said.

``For the first time ever, Washington will no longer raid Social Security to pay for other government programs,'' Diaz-Balart said.

He added that the GOP plan also guarantees more resources for Social Security than President Clinton does in the administration's budget proposal.

Republicans also want to return money to taxpayers through such means as eliminating the ``marriage penalty'' tax, cutting federal estate taxes and reducing taxes on retirement savings, Diaz-Balart said.

``It's your money,'' he said. ``You ought to keep more of it.''

He promised to get more federal dollars to the schools to spend on teachers and books.

On national security, Diaz-Balart said the nation has a ``moral obligation'' to ensure that men and women in uniform are equipped properly and have the necessary training.