For Immediate Release:
September 28, 2007
MESSAGE FROM THE MAJORITY LEADER
Today I addressed the National Press Club to discuss the differences between the Democratic-led Congress and President Bush on this year's appropriations bills; the stark comparison between Democrats and Republicans on fiscal responsibility; and the long-term fiscal challenges facing our nation.
To put it simply, the appropriations fight boils down to this: Democrats are focused on priorities, the President is focused on politics. Democrats are fighting to restore the President's deep and damaging cuts in student aid, medical research, law enforcement grants, and rural health programs. The President, on the other hand, is playing politics. Not once in six years did the President veto a single appropriations bill - or any other legislation that increased deficit spending. The Bush Administration is clearly itching to create an appropriations fight with a Democratic Congress in order to repair its standing with its conservative base.
The President's recent conversion to fiscal responsibility is made all the more disingenuous when reviewing his track record of the past six years. Upon coming into office, President Bush inherited a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion. As a result of his policies however, this projected surplus has turned into deficits as far as the eye can see. Spending has increased at a rate nearly twice that of the Clinton Administration, while revenues have grown much more slowly. Today, the national debt stands at $9 trillion, $3.3 trillion more than when Bush took office. Large amounts of money are paying interest on this debt, rather than being put toward schools, law enforcement, or building roads and bridges.
When you look at the facts, it is clear that Democrats are the party of fiscal responsibility today. In one of our first acts in the Majority, we restored the pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules that produced record surpluses under the Clinton Administration. We believe that it is immoral to force our children and our grandchildren to pay our bills. As a result, every bill we have passed this year adheres to PAYGO rules, and we passed a budget that will bring our nation's budget back to balance in 2012.
On a final note, it is imperative that we get serious about our nation's long-term fiscal challenges. With millions of Baby Boomers set to retire, it is long past time to address the needs of Social Security and Medicare. In order to keep these two programs running successfully, we must put all options on the table. After President Bush's failure to lead on these issues, I hope to tackle them with the next occupant of the White House.
As the new fiscal year begins on Monday, I hope the President will reconsider his threats to veto appropriations bills, as well as the Children's Health Insurance Program bill. I remain hopeful that we can sit down and come to an agreement on investing in America's priorities.
STENY H. HOYER
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NEWS ON FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY
Hoyer Speech on Fiscal Responsibility
Timeline on Fiscal Responsibility
The Majority Leader's Office has compiled a timeline on fiscal responsibility that shows the Republican's 6-year long fiscal train wreck as compared to Democrats' efforts to restore fiscal discipline. Click on each entry in the timeline to get more information about that topic.
More on Fiscal Responsibility