Spratt Statement on FY04 House Democratic Budget Resolution

For Immediate Release:

March 20, 2003

Contact:Chuck Fant
202-225-5501

WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) today issued the following statement on the House Democratic budget, which he will offer tonight on the House floor.

The House Democratic budget projects a balanced budget in 2010 - two years earlier than the House Republican budget - and with $821 billion less public debt.  Unlike the House Republican budget, the Democratic budget does not cut domestic discretionary spending below the level needed to keep pace with inflation and does not contain any cuts in mandatory spending.  The Democratic budget also provides $528 billion in new funds for a serious Medicare prescription drug benefit -- $128 billion more than the Republican budget.  For more information on the Democratic and Republican budgets, visit our web site at http://www.house.gov/budget_democrats

"Democrats believe in getting the budget back to balance with balanced priorities.  Every year, from 2004 onward, our budget has a lower and lower bottom line, until we get to unified balance in the year 2010.

"Our budget accumulates $821 billion less public debt than the House Republican budget, and $1.6 trillion less public debt than the President's.

"Unlike the Republican budget, the Democratic budget does not cut domestic spending and it does not cut mandatory spending.  Our budget restores Republican spending cuts in education, in health care, and in the environment.

"We provide $528 billion in real money for a serious prescription drug benefit for America's seniors, $128 billion more than they do. And we don't take a dime out of Medicare or a dime out of Medicaid to pay for it.

"We provide $60 billion more than they provide in education; $41 billion more than they do for the environment, natural resources, and the Clean Water Act; and $34 billion more than they provide for homeland security.

"Democrats provide $35 billion more than the Republicans provide for an array of programs which have really worked, like community policing, a program that has cut the violent crime rate in our country.

"For veterans, Democrats restore deep and outrageous cuts Republicans make to veterans programs.  At a time when people are waiting up to six months just to get into their veterans hospital, Republicans cut $15 billion from the veterans disability compensation program and $14 billion from veterans health care.  We restore these cuts fully.

"We do all of this while balancing the budget by 2010 and providing growing surpluses in 2011-2013.

"Democrats offer a real choice and a stark contrast. Our budget gets to balance, and it gets there with balanced priorities."