Congresswoman Beatty Advocates for CBC Alternative Budget
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to discuss House Budget Committee Chairman RYAN’s fiscal year 2014 budget and Democratic alternatives that work. I first want to thank my colleagues, Mr. HORSFORD and Mr. JEFFRIES, both members of my class, for leading the Congressional Black Caucus’ discussion on this critical matter. I would also like to thank Congressman BOBBY SCOTT for his tireless efforts on the Congressional Black Caucus budget.
Released last week, Congressman RYAN’s proposal, entitled ‘‘A Path to Prosperity,’’ includes more of the same proposals that the American public rejected at the ballot last November. Same proposal, different cover. I cannot possibly imagine how this regressive tax structure that it contains is a way to lead to shared American prosperity. I also cannot imagine how this budget will balance in 10 years and not hurt Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 55. As it has been in the past, Republican RYAN’S budget offers a trickle- down agenda—the same agenda tried during George W. Bush’s Presidency, which resulted in the withering of the middle class and the total collapse of the economy. This budget shares in the same failed policies of the past, and in a nutshell it is unrealistic, unreasonable, and unfair.
First, Mr. Speaker, while the Ryan budget is clear on its harmful proposed cuts for children’s education and health care services for seniors, the budget blueprint is particularly light on details and heavy on tax breaks to wealthy Americans who do not need the help. Second, but of no less importance, the Ryan proposal fails to repeal and replace the sequester, therefore doing nothing to prevent the loss of over 700,000 jobs the sequester will cause. By not stopping the sequester and through other budgetary tricks, the Ryan budget will cause even deeper cuts to all of our Nation’s essential services, ranging from the deep cuts for services for women to Head Start and health care research to homeland security.
This lack of foresight will also result in some $800 billion of Federal funds being removed from Pell Grants and school lunches and begin the process of changing Medicare to a voucher system. There is a better way.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have worked diligently to put forth an alternative blueprint, one designed to be pro-growth and put jobs in the economy first, rather than adhere blindly to ideological spending cuts. The Congressional Black Caucus alternative would replace the sequester’s cuts with intelligent, balanced, deficit- reduction measures. Additionally, cutting educational spending in the name of future generations smacks of insincerity when we recognize that America’s position as global leader in technology and innovation depends on our ability to invest in on the necessary infrastructure and training for such breakthroughs. That’s why the Congressional Black Caucus budget would support billions of dollars of infrastructure and job-training investments for the future of our Nation and its citizens. Americans are tired of watching their government lurch from one crisis to the next. The Congressional Black Caucus alternatives offer serious, credible paths away from gridlock and toward a long-term solution which creates jobs, expands the middle class, honors our commitment to seniors by preserving Medicare and protecting Medicaid, and addresses our budget deficits and debt responsibly.
These goals are achievable. But be clear, the Ryan budget will not get us there. It is not the path to the Nation’s collective prosperity. It does not move us forward. The Democrats and members of the Congressional Black Caucus propose that we move America for- ward. I thank you for the opportunity to address these important issues