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Mr. BISHOP of New York. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the Republican Fiscal Year 2013 Budget. Budgets are statements of priorities. Unfortunately, this budget does not reflect the priorities of my constituents and the American people: bolstering a strong middle class, investing in job creation, and ensuring a secure retirement.
The American middle class is the bedrock of our society. But the Republican Budget fails to recognize this. It gives the bulk of its $4.6 trillion in tax cuts to wealthy Americans. It cuts $166 billion from Pell Grants and federal student loans, effectively telling students to think twice about a college education. And it puts job creation on hold by cutting $31 billion from transportation and infrastructure investment in the next fiscal year.
The Republican Budget also cuts $11 billion from science and medical research by 2014. The two largest employers in my district are Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Lab. When you factor in the additional $1 trillion in unspecified non-defense discretionary cuts over 10 years, reductions like these jeopardize the economic recovery and stifle the advances that can make the United States a competitive force in a global economy. And yet, the Republican Budget does not ask those who have benefited from investments of this type made in the past to shoulder any responsibility in resolving our fiscal issues.
After decades of hard work and sacrifice by our Nation's seniors, the Republican Budget replaces Medicare's health coverage guarantee with a voucher to purchase traditional Medicare coverage or a private insurance plan. If one scrutinizes this proposal, they will discover the voucher will very likely fail to keep pace with medical inflation, thereby threatening seniors' financial security by forcing them to bear the bulk of their medical costs and even leaving some retirees without health insurance as the Medicare eligibility age is raised.
The Republican Budget also makes drastic cuts to Medicaid, jeopardizing the ability of seniors to access nursing home care and threatening the health coverage Americans with meager incomes rely on.
Mr. Chair, it is important that this Congress refocus our efforts on bolstering the middle class, investing in job creation, and ensuring a secure retirement. That is how we will build an economy to last and make a better future in America for our children. The Republican Budget fails at this, and I urge my colleagues to vote against the resolution.
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