Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

Floor Speech


I thank the ranking member on the Budget Committee for, first, all the work he has done over the years in trying to get America back on track when it comes to what it should do with its budgets.

Budgets are a testament to our values and our priorities, and I believe Mr. Van Hollen has made it very clear what the values and priorities of Members of this side of the aisle are. It is about making sure that we invest the taxpayer dollars to help our economy grow, help grow jobs, and help our kids grow up and get to college.

But let me remind everyone here of something. Remember those brainless, autopilot sequester cuts which had been scheduled for last year that led to the Republican shutdown of our government? Well, the Republican budget of 2015 is sequester on steroids.

Remember last year's autopilot sequester cuts that would have kicked over 50,000 children out of Head Start classes? Well, the 2015 Republican budget kicks 170,000 kids out of Head Start classes.

This Republican budget would kill jobs, with 1.1 million Americans likely to lose their job as a result of this budget and probably 3 million more the following year are the estimates.

This budget would cut seniors' Social Security benefits by changing the way we calculate their cost-of-living increases so that they would get less each year, even though we know the cost of living for seniors keeps going up.

They would continue to reduce our investments in very important projects that include Medicare, because this Republican budget would voucherize Medicare. It would turn it into a privatized version of what we have now, without the guarantees, so that seniors will be paying more for their prescription drugs.

This Republican budget would close not one single wasteful corporate tax loophole and, instead, it actually offers billionaires a $200,000 tax cut at the same time that it is increasing taxes for the middle class by about $2,000.

It should surprise no one that, while we are not closing any tax loopholes in the Republican budget and while we are increasing the taxes for middle class Americans, this Republican budget excludes things that we should do.

Through this budget we could, right now, move to increase the economy's capacity, increase the number of jobs, and decrease our deficits by finally fixing our broken immigration system.

Our Democratic budget does that; the Republican budget doesn't. And as a result, we give up, through the Republican budget, an opportunity to reduce our deficits by close to a trillion dollars over the next couple of decades. We give up the opportunity to create close to 3.5 million jobs over the next 10 to 20 years by doing immigration reform, and we give up the chance to strengthen Social Security by doing immigration reform. The Democratic budget makes those investments.

The Democratic budget actually invests in early childhood education. The Democratic budget makes it possible for more middle class families to afford to send their kids to college.

The Democratic budget makes those investments because we do close corporate tax loopholes. We do go after those who are evading paying their fair share of taxes. And we can make those investments in early childhood education, in fixing our broken immigration system, in investing in our roads and bridges because we go after those who are evading paying their taxes. We could do that.

But, again, I remind you, this is a budget being presented on this floor from our colleagues on the other side that actually put the brainless cuts under the sequester on autopilot. And we need to defeat that.