The U.S. House of Representatives passed a Republican budget this week spearheaded by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). This legislation makes significant cuts to social programs and investments in education, destroys jobs, and represents the latest in a series of Republican attacks on Medicare. I voted against this budget because it does not serve the purposes of Texas and the El Paso-area.
Although our economy is recovering from years of misguided policies, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet. Gas prices have skyrocketed in recent months. Quality health care and education are becoming more expensive for the average person. Families are fighting to save their homes from foreclosure and are seeking relief on their mounting debt. Instead of focusing on these important issues, House Republicans passed a budget that dramatically undermines the social safety net that so many Americans depend on.
This budget yet again shows how out of touch the Republican Party is with the lives of ordinary Americans and El Pasoans. Instead of focusing on creating jobs and putting people back to work, it extends the Bush tax cuts--which I voted against and will continue to oppose--for the wealthiest Americans, and provides millionaires and billionaires with an average tax cut of $150,000. To put this amount into perspective, $150,000 pays for: one years' worth of savings for a senior in the Medicare prescription drug "donut hole" ($600); one school computer lab ($40,000); one year of medical care for a veteran returning home ($8,945); one grant for medical research on chronic diseases ($50,000); one tax credit to make a year of college more affordable ($2,500); one firefighter, police officer, or first responder kept on the job ($42,000); and one college student receiving the maximum Pell Grant ($5,550).
During my time representing El Paso, this is by far the worst piece of legislation that I have seen. House Republicans passed a budget to benefit the wealthy and special interest groups at the expense of middle-class Americans, seniors, veterans, and children. While this budget provides huge tax cuts for the richest one percent of Americans, it does nothing to neither stimulate the economy nor create jobs, and would adversely impact the El Paso community.
For these reasons I voted NO on this budget. I oppose this ideological, radical budget, and stand firm in support of job creation, health care, and education for all. It is wrong for America and wrong for El Paso.