CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005 -- (House of Representatives - March 25, 2004)
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 574 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the further consideration of the concurrent resolution, H. Con. Res. 393.
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Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Chairman, I cannot support this resolution.
For 3 years, the administration and the Republican leadership have insisted on speeding ahead with misguided fiscal and economic policies. Ignoring all warning lights, they have taken us where we are today-with an economy in the ditch and a budget deep in deficit.
And, despite their claims to the contrary, when you look at the full picture you can see that this budget resolution offers only more of the same.
For example, while they claim that they are putting the budget on track to cut the deficit in half, that claim is based on the fact that this budget covers only 5 years instead of the usual 10 years. When we broaden the picture to cover the full decade, we see that the deficit would be increasing again, meaning that we would be adding more and more debt that would have to be repaid-with interest-by our children and grandchildren. This is not a policy that deserves our support.
We should be changing course, not persisting in error. That is why I supported the Spratt substitute, and why I also voted for the Blue Dog substitute. Neither was perfect-and in particular I thought the Blue Dog substitute would have not allowed for adequate investments in science and research or for environmental protection-but each was preferable to the Republican budget now before us.
In particular, the Democratic alternative proposed by Representative SPRATT would have fully protected Social Security while putting us on the road to balance the budget in 2012, while running up a public-debt burden that would be a full $34 billion less than the Republican budget in the next 5 years.
Mr. Chairman, I recognize that this resolution will pass, because our Republican colleagues have received their marching orders from the White House, and are in moving in lockstep to endorse the Bush administration's insistence that its economic and fiscal policies must continue without change. I admire their discipline, but I am convinced their judgment is faulty. I do not share their view, and I cannot follow them as they take us further into the swamp.