HOUSE GOP BUDGET: TAKING A WALK OFF THE DEEP END

Democrats Urge Conferees to Protect America’s Priorities

For Immediate Release:

March 31, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) and House Democratic leaders today denounced the reckless and damaging Republican budget resolution and promoted a motion to instruct the budget conferees to reject cuts in education, healthcare, and veterans’ programs.  The following is Congressman Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:

“Just look at how out of step this Republican budget resolution really is with America’s priorities and values: It demands draconian funding cuts not included in our Democratic alternative.  It demands funding cuts not included in the Senate budget resolution.  It even demands funding cuts not included in the President’s budget.  There are no two ways about it: the House GOP’s budget is an appalling betrayal of our values and priorities.  What necessitated these deep funding cuts?  The answer is clear: the House GOP’s blind allegiance to the President’s fiscally irresponsible $1.4 trillion tax plan.  That’s not fuzzy math.  That’s fiscal reality.

“If you leave this Capitol tonight and spend $1,000 on a new television or computer at Best Buy, CircuitCityor some other store, that’s $1,000 in resources that are no longer available to pay your mortgage, a doctor’s bill or groceries.  So, while the President’s tax plan would overwhelmingly benefit the most affluent citizens in our society, who would pay the price?  The elderly, children, the poor and veterans, that’s who.  The House GOP budget resolution would require the Committee on Energy and Commerce to cut an estimated $94 billion in Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Programs.  These cuts could jeopardize access to health care for more than 51 million seniors, adults, children and disabled Americans who rely on Medicaid and CHIP – as well as the 41 million seniors and disabled individuals who rely on Medicare.

“The Committee on Ways and Weans would be instructed to cut spending by $62 billion, some or all of which could fall on the Medicare program.  Furthermore, the GOP budget resolution would cut $9.4 billion to key education programs, such as school lunches and student loans.  I ask you: are those America’s priorities?  Are those American values?

“I submit that the answer is self-evident.  It would be one thing if this republican majority supported a tax plan that would jump-start our economy and create jobs.  But even the Congressional Budget Office, under the direction of Republican Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reported that the President’s so-called “growth” plan could raise – and possibly even lower – economic growth by an insignificant amount.  In contrast, the Democrats’ economic stimulus plan would immediately jump-start the economy, creating one million new jobs.  We are here today to urge the conferees, on a deficit-neutral basis, to restore these cuts.”

 

###