Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to the Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2013. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“The Chairman of the Budget Committee has spoken of a choice between two futures. He is correct in framing it this way. The budget he proposes would end the Medicare guarantee, cut taxes for the wealthiest, and place our economic recovery at risk.
“Robert Greenstein, head of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, described the Republican budget this way – and I quote: ‘It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times.’
“That is a future we simply cannot afford. In fact, the Republican proposal is not a realistic budget at all. Nobody believes in its premises – that we as a nation are suddenly going to decide to savage our domestic programs and leave the most vulnerable out in the cold.
“This disastrous budget ends the Medicare guarantee, increasing costs for seniors. It cuts Medicaid by a third and turns it into a block grant program, which will jeopardize access to affordable health and nursing home care for seniors, the disabled, and low-income families who depend on it. Furthermore, it repeals the critical patient protections and cost containment policies of the Affordable Care Act. Their budget slashes funding for programs that help the vulnerable, enable our children to afford college, and provide health coverage to those with long-term disabilities. And it puts millions of jobs and our economic recovery at risk as a result of drastic spending cuts. At the same time, this budget extends the Bush tax cuts – including $1 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy – and cuts an additional $4.6 trillion in taxes on top of that. It does all that without saying how it will be paid for – presumably by eliminating deductions that middle class families rely on to send their kids to college and afford their homes.
“Democrats have proposed a different future: one where we invest in a strong economy, and ask everyone to contribute their fair share. A future where the Medicare guarantee is preserved and seniors’ health security is protected. A future where students who work hard, take responsibility for themselves, and get accepted to college won’t have to worry about whether they can afford to go. A future where we help businesses create millions of jobs here at home that won’t be shipped overseas. A future where the deficit is reduced in a balanced way, with everyone pitching in.
“Any of the Democratic alternatives would be far better than this Republican budget.
“We have a choice between two futures, and that choice couldn’t be clearer. I urge my colleagues to stand together in defeating this budget and passing one that will bring our middle class and working families not a grim future but a brighter one.”