Hoyer on the Floor Discussing the Real Budget Story

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the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. Hoyer, for five minutes. mr. Hoyer: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i want to congratulate the gentleman from washington state for focusing america on what the issues are before us. in recent weeks i've come to the floor to argue that the republican spending plan does two extremely harmful things. it weakens our economy and fails to seriously reduce our debt. democrats agree that cutting spending is part of the solution to our difficult problems that confront us. but we also believe that cuts should be smart and targeted, not reckless. rather than cutting investments in growth at the same time our international competitors are ramping up theirs, democrats support the make it in america agenda, a plan to invest in innovation, manufacturing, jobs and middle-class opportunity. that's what the president talked about in his state of the union, and he was right. unfortunately, the consensus that the republicans' spending plan is that we will halt our economic recovery and cost jobs is widespread and nonpartisan. fed chairman ben bernanke, apointed by president bush, tells us that the plan will cost, and i quote, a couple of hundred thousand jobs. macroeconomic advisors tell us that the republican plan will wipe out approximately 450,000 jobs. moody's an lytics chief advisor , zandi, tells us it will cost up to 700,000 jobs. the economic policy institute puts the number at 800,000 jobs. whatever the precise number, it is a large number of jobs that will be lost if we pass the republicans' budget solutions. what they want to do, as the gentleman from washington state said, this is all exempt. this is security. these are all mandatory spending. this small slice of the budget, about $460 billion, though republicans want to cut by 22%, give or take a percentage point. so they're not -- they're holding harmless almost all of 85% to 86% of the money that we spend and say we cut from education, from health care, from children, from community development projects, the guts of what makes our communities have a better quality. at the same time i've argued that the republican spending plan barely puts a dent in our budget deficit. it's reasonable to ask, how can this plan have such severe consequences for our economy yet so little impact on our fiscal predicament? this chart helps us answer the question. all of the proposed cuts, all of the cuts come from this small slice of the budget. the category of our budget called nonsecurity discretionary spending, but nonsecurity discretionary spending, as i've said, the gentleman from washington state said 12%. we have here 14%. it's in that neighborhood, depending upon exactly what you include as security or nonsecurity. when the attempt to find $100 billion in savings and when you insist on getting these savings from 14% of the budget, you have to cut very deeply into absolutely essential projects and programs for our people. you have to cut billions in funding into the medical cures and energy technology for -- you have to kick 200,000-plus children off of head start. you even have to cut port and transit security by 2/3. let me say that again. they are cutting port and transit security by 2/3 while they're holding terrorism hearings. the chairman of the house homeland security committee, a republican, said those cuts were, and i quote, too dangerous. as david brooks recently argued, congress should, quote, never cut without an evaluation process. but instead, legislators, quote, he referred to the republican initiatives, are simply cutting on the basis of what's politically easy and what vaguely seems expendable. closed quote. it may be possible to portray taking on the 14% of the budget is fiscally responsible, but only because doing so exploits americans' misunderstanding of the budget. a recent poll shows that 63% of americans think we spend more on defense and foreign aid than we do on medicare and social security. all the blue, all the green and then the yellow. that small sliver which, by the way, includes discretionary foreign policy expenditures. mr. speaker, i thank you for the time. i urge our citizens to look at the consequences of these cuts and look at the small sliver that the republicans are focusing themselves on and you and i on. we need to see the whole picture if we're going to come to grips with the challenge that confronts us, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman yields back.