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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. NADLER. Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong opposition to the Republican budget.

Once again, the Republicans move a slash-and-burn budget that would turn Medicare into a private voucher system and force seniors to spend more than $6,000 out of pocket every additional year. It would gut Medicaid, education programs, medical research, and transportation among other things. You name it, they devastate it.

First, the Republican budget calls for a staggering $10 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations over 10 years. It would pay for it by closing unspecified tax loopholes, but this is a fraud. For loophole closing of this magnitude, the Republicans would have to get rid of all the tax breaks the middle class depends on, loopholes like the mortgage interest deduction, the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, and charitable donations. This won't happen, which is why the Republicans won't name any of their loophole closings.

The Republican budget then proposes $5.3 trillion in non-defense discretionary spending cuts, beyond what was agreed to in last year's debt ceiling, $1.2 trillion beyond. It would slash $860 billion from Medicare and all to pay for tax cuts because it wouldn't balance the budget until 2040, because these cuts are to pay for the tax cuts for the wealthy.

For shame.

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Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the Republican budget for FY13 as offered by Mr. RYAN.

Last year, the Republicans moved a slash-and-burn budget proposal that would have eliminated Medicare and substituted for it a private voucher system, and would have implemented devastating cuts to Medicaid, education programs, medical research, and transportation, among other things You name it, they wanted to devastate it.

Now we turn to this year's Republican budget proposal and, as one famous New Yorker would say: It's déja 2 vu all over again.

First, the Republican budget calls for a staggering $10 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy and large corporations over ten years. They claim to pay for this giveaway by closing unspecified tax loopholes. But this is a fraud. For loophole closing of this magnitude, the Republicans would have to get rid of all the tax breaks the middle class depends on--``loopholes'' like the mortgage interest deduction, tax exclusions for employer-sponsored health insurance, and charitable donations. This won't happen--which is why the Republicans won't name any of their ``loophole-closings.''

So this would make the budget deficit $10 trillion larger--which is why they do not anticipate balancing the budget until 2040. But they make devastating spending cuts--not to balance the budget, but to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthy. What priorities!

The Republican budget seeks even deeper spending cuts than last year's proposal. It proposes $5.3 trillion in non-defense discretionary spending cuts--$1.2 trillion (22 percent) beyond the cuts agreed to in last year's Debt Ceiling deal. More than 60 percent of these cuts would come on the backs of middle- and low-income families.

For example, the Republican budget would slash $860 billion (34 percent) from the Medicaid program while turning it into an unguaranteed block grant. These severe cuts would shift the cost burden to the states, who would have to decide between investing even more of their own money, cutting benefits, shifting the cost onto beneficiaries, doctors, and hospitals, throwing people out of the program, or all of these. The Urban Institute estimated that the Republican plan would result in between 14 and 27 million people being dropped from Medicaid by 2021.

Additionally, the Ryan budget would reduce food stamps by $134 billion, knocking 8 to 10 million people from the program and leaving them to go hungry. WIC, which provides nutritional assistance to women and children, would also be cut, taking food out of the mouths of 700,000 pregnant women, new moms and their kids. Over the next decade, nearly two million women and children would be left without access to critical food. What kind of cruel and heartless country do the Republicans want us to live in?

Seniors on Medicare don't fare much better. First, Republicans would raise the eligibility age to 67, leaving seniors aged 65 and 66 out in the cold. They would force seniors to go it alone in negotiating with private insurance companies for coverage. Seniors would receive vouchers to offset the cost of private insurance--vouchers whose value would increase much more slowly than the cost of buying medical insurance. CB0 estimates that within ten years seniors would have to pay $6,000 more out of pocket for medical care annually. All this, mind

you, while promising to do away with all of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, like medical ratio requirements, which actually help to stem the cost of private insurance.

Don't look to the Republican plan for investments in infrastructure, medical research, or education--primary or collegiate, for students or for teachers--because they are not there.

And the Republican budget would greatly increase unemployment. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Republican spending cuts would result in the loss of 1.3 million jobs next year and an additional 2.8 million jobs the year after that. That's 4.1 million jobs lost in just two years, thereby eviscerating all the jobs added to the economy in the last 23 months and then some.

Mr. Chair, the sheer gravity of the cuts proposed by the Republican budget is staggering and disastrous. While no budget is perfect, any of the Democratic proposals under consideration today is head and shoulders better for America, and for Americans, than the Ryan Budget Against America: Part Two.

While we may disagree on how to continue to support and grow our economy, let's stop using the working poor, the middle-class, women, kids, and seniors as pawns. I urge my colleagues to vote no on the Ryan budget.

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