For Immediate Release:
February 1, 2010
(202) 225 - 3130
(202) 225 - 3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) issued the following statement today after President Obama released his budget request for fiscal year 2011:
“I look forward to reviewing President Obama’s budget in detail in the days to come, but I am happy to see that it combines job-creating incentives with a serious commitment to reducing our deficit. The President entered the White House with the country on the verge of another Depression, but Democratic policies have started to turn things around: job losses are down 90% from the end of the previous administration, and our economy grew by 5.7% in the last quarter of 2009. Today’s proposed budget would further our recovery by providing tax credits to small businesses that hire new employees, investing in job-creating infrastructure projects, and committing to innovation in energy technology.
“Last year, President Obama also faced a fiscal mess, brought about by the economic downturn and the previous administration’s borrowing. On this front, as well, Democrats have made real progress: the House is close to final passage of statutory pay-as-you-go (paygo) legislation to keep the deficit from growing. In addition, nearly 60% of the discretionary spending cuts proposed in the president’s last budget were enacted by Congress, and Congress intends to build on that success. The proposed freeze in non-security discretionary spending will force Congress to wisely prioritize and eliminate waste. Overall, the budget proposed today would cut our deficit by more than half, from 10.6% of GDP in 2010 to 4.2% of GDP in 2013.
“But deficit reduction will take much more hard work. The paygo requirement must be rigorously enforced for all non-emergency legislation. President Obama has also taken a constructive step by proposing a Fiscal Crisis Responsibility Fee for the big banks on Wall Street that benefitted from taxpayer assistance in their hour of need.
"However, I agree with the president that, even if these steps were taken, the deficit would remain too high. So it is essential that we work with a bipartisan fiscal commission to make the hard choices necessary to balance the budget, excluding interest costs, by 2015. And Congress must address the single largest contributor to our deficit, the exploding cost of health care. Because our country’s fiscal condition poses a shared danger, I am hopeful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will give this budget’s fiscal responsibility agenda the serious consideration it deserves.”