WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) today spoke on the House Floor in opposition to the fiscal year 2005 House Republican budget, and in support of the House Democratic budget, which would balance the budget in 8 years and invest in America’s priorities. The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“Mr. Speaker, this budget debate is nothing less than a debate on our priorities, on our values, on who we are as Americans. And I hope that every person listening today – including my friends on the other side of the aisle – compares and contrasts our competing visions for this nation.
“Because if you do, I am convinced that you will agree that this Democratic budget is vastly superior. Look at the facts: our Democratic substitute would balance the budget within eight years. The Republican budget would not. In fact, your budget would increase the record budget deficits that your failed policies have created by nearly $250 billion over the next five years. And it would provide no plan – none – for bringing the budget back to balance.
“Our Democratic substitute would protect Social Security by requiring that spending initiatives and tax cuts be paid for without adding to the deficit. The Republican budget would not. Our Democratic substitute matches the Republican budget on defense spending and provides nearly $6 billion more for homeland security.
“Our Democratic substitute provides tax relief for hard-working families, extending marriage-penalty relief, the child tax credit, and the ten percent tax bracket. Finally, Mr. Speaker, our Democratic substitute – even as it reins in runaway deficits – would provide more resources than the Republican budget for education, veterans, job training, public health, infrastructure and the environment.
“There is no comparison, Mr. Speaker. The Democratic substitute is, without question, superior. I urge all of my colleagues: Vote for fiscal responsibility. Vote for a strong defense and homeland security. Vote for tax relief for hard-working Americans and investments in our future. Vote for the Democratic substitute.”