Hoyer: Oppose This Draconian Budget

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Transcript: 

“I thank the Ranking Member for yielding. This Republican budget, as I've said before, is an exercise in how not to achieve fiscal sustainability. Both the Bowles-Simpson and Rivlin-Domenici bipartisan commissions determined that the responsible approach to fiscal sustainability is through a combination of balanced deficit reduction and strategic investments in long-term economic growth. The Bowles-Simpson report says, and I quote: ‘We must invest in education, infrastructure, and high-value research and development to help our economy grow, keep us globally competitive, and make it easier for businesses to create jobs.’

“The Chairman of the Budget Committee voted against Bowles-Simpson. This budget disinvests in those priorities, which will help us create jobs and grow our middle class. It undercuts our ability to invest in economic competitiveness and the growth we need to secure the goal of a sustainable fiscal future. At the same time the Republican budget does not follow the bipartisan commission's framework for achieving deficit savings – a balanced approach that combines new revenue with spending reductions. There are no new revenues in this budget, and its spending cuts are severe and irresponsible, cutting even deeper than the painful sequester.

“As I said yesterday, GOP Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers called the sequester levels ‘unrealistic and ill-conceived.’ To which the Chairman then rose and said he said that last year. He may have said it last year, but the proposals you make are unchanged from last year, essentially. And this year he said your cuts were ‘draconian.’ Just a few days ago.

[SHH was admonished by the Chair for using the second person.]

“In closing, let me say I urge every one of my colleagues who is troubled about our deficits and debt, who is deeply concerned about creating jobs and growing our economy, to do the right thing. Oppose this budget.

“Now, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, who has called the numbers in this budget ‘draconian,’ apparently intends to vote for it. Mr. Speaker, I don't understand that. If I thought, as I do, that these numbers were ‘draconian,’ the only alternative I would have is to vote no.

“I lament the fact that we are not addressing in a bipartisan, comprehensive way putting America on a fiscally sustainable path. That would be the best economic stimulus that we could do for America. What a shame. What a shame that again we have wasted that opportunity.”