Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) released the following statement on his vote to oppose the Fiscal Year 2012 budget passed by House Republicans today that would end Medicare and hurt job growth, while giving more benefits to the wealthiest few:
"We should all agree that addressing our rising deficit and unsustainable debt requires difficult cuts, but the Republican proposal to end Medicare and demand sacrifice only from those who can't afford it would be disastrous.
"We all want to balance the budget and create a more prosperous America that remains true to our values, but we cannot do this by putting the entire burden on our most vulnerable citizens. Yet the Republican budget cuts education for our kids and health care for low-income families, seniors and the disabled, while giving additional tax cuts to multimillionaires and preserving benefits for oil companies and other big corporations.
"In the first year the Republican plan goes into effect, a typical 65-year-old who becomes eligible for Medicare would pay an extra $6,400 for health care, more than doubling what he or she would pay if the plan were not adopted. Medicaid would be cut by a third, potentially leaving 15 million people without coverage, including seniors in nursing homes, people with disabilities, children and pregnant women. The Republican budget cuts Pell Grants, which are responsible for helping more than 23,000 Rhode Islanders afford college, and will cost more than 2,500 jobs through highway funding cuts that make our roads and bridges less safe.
"Our focus should be on investing in jobs and our nation's future through education, infrastructure and research, while having the courage to take on the real drivers of our debt, including excessive defense spending, unnecessary health care costs and tax provisions written for special interests. We can't rely on cuts that cost jobs and increase expenses for people who don't have the money to spend."