Press Release ● Health Care
For Immediate Release: 
March 19, 2003
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen
(202) 225-3130

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) and House Democratic leaders today announced the House Democratic budget alternative, which safeguards domestic programs, creates jobs, and protects the Social Security and Medicare trusts.   Rep. Hoyer criticized the reckless and damaging Republican budget resolution released by the House Republican Budget Committee.     The following is Congressman Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:

“It’s clear that the President’s bloated tax plan – and the Republican Party’s allegiance to it – would be an albatross around the necks of the American people.   The Los Angeles Times hit the nail on the head this morning.  It said:   “to pay for the president's proposed tax cuts, [Chairman] Nussle offers a plan that would curb the deficit by 2010 by cutting $470 billion from Medicare, Medicaid, student loans, scientific research, food stamps, education and veterans benefits.”

“Now, I ask you:   Is that a budget that reflects America’s priorities?  Is that a budget that reflects America’s values?  We know the answer to those questions.  You really have to wonder: How does this Republican Party define compassion?  By taking hot lunches out of the mouths of poor children?  By leaving millions of seniors without a prescription drug benefit?  By forcing the elderly out of nursing homes due to Medicaid cuts? By slashing veterans’ health care on the eve of battle? By cutting federal employees’ pensions?

“We are not here today just to criticize.   The American people want and deserve better – and that’s precisely what this Democratic budget for America gives them.  First and foremost, our budget includes our entire stimulus plan, which would jump-start the economy, provide tax relief and create one million jobs.     Our budget provides more funding for homeland security ($34 billion), more funding for education ($44 billion), and more funding for the environment, veterans and other priorities.

“We also provide at least $500 billion more for prescription drugs.   And that ought to please Democrats, as well as Republicans.  Congressman LaTourette of Ohio said the other day: “Nobody in my district is screaming for tax cuts.  They are screaming for a prescription drug benefit.”

“Finally, our budget matches the President’s defense request for the next five years, and achieves balance by 2010.   We urge all Americans: Examine our budget.  Examine the House GOP’s.  And ask yourself: which budget reflects American values?  Which budget meets our needs? It’s no wonder Republican moderates are running away from their budget as fast as they can.  It’s a stalking horse for unaffordable tax cuts.  Our budget, on the other hand, addresses America’s priorities, reflects our values, and lays a strong foundation for our future."