WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer delivered the following statement regarding the Republican tax conference report on the House Floor today. He assailed the Republican Majority for turning surpluses into deficits and running up the nation’s debt, while refusing to pay for tax cuts:
“Mr. Speaker, this morning in The Wall Street Journal, former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough wrote:
‘Ten years ago, Republican Congressional candidates like me were running as Washington outsiders, promising to balance the budget and pay off the debt.’ But, he added, bluntly: ‘We lied.’
“Mr. Speaker, that’s Joe Scarborough, a former member of your Republican Conference, issuing that indictment. Not Steny Hoyer or any other Democrat. And the facts back him up.
“Last year’s record budget deficit of $375 billion will be eclipsed by a projected deficit of $422 billion this year – and deficits totaling nearly $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years. And because of the Republican Party’s fiscal mismanagement, this Congress is on the verge of increasing the ceiling on the national debt for the third time in three years – to $8.1 trillion. But it lacks the courage to do so on an up-or-down vote before the November elections.
“Now, Mr. Speaker, I join virtually every member of this body on both sides of the aisle in supporting the extension of middle-class tax cuts – the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief and expansion of the 10-percent income tax bracket. But we cannot continue to disregard fiscal reality – or the historic turnaround from budget surpluses to record deficits and exploding debt during the last four years.
“We cannot continue to pretend that tax cuts have no effect on our nation’s ability to invest in homeland security, education, veterans and health care. And we must not ignore this generation’s responsibility to our children and grandchildren. Saddling them with deeper debt and a diminished future is nothing less than fiscal child abuse.
“I urge my colleagues: Let’s extend these tax cuts. But let’s make sure that such tax cuts are paid for.”