Yesterday, Congressman John W. Olver voted against H.Con.Res. 112, the budget resolution put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on behalf of the Republican majority.
"This budget is a clear expression of the GOP's values. It includes a $394,000 tax break for the average millionaire and adds $8 billion to our defense budget at a time when we're winding down two wars," said Congressman Olver. "The only way to make commitments like these and claim to be a deficit hawk is to slash programs for the rest of our citizens, which is exactly what Chairman Ryan has done."
According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 62% of the Ryan budget's cuts come from programs that support low-income Americans. Over the next ten years this includes $2.4 trillion in cuts to Medicaid and other health care support for low-income Americans, and $134 billion from SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. Depending on how this cut is implemented, it could kick as many as 10 million people out of the program. The budget also partially privatizes and singles out Pell grants and job training programs for cuts.
"This budget is a stark departure from previous bipartisan frameworks for deficit reduction," Olver added. "In reneges on last year's debt ceiling deal by ignoring the cap on defense spending that both parties agreed to. In the next ten years the Ryan budget would spend $189 billion over that cap. It also breaks with bipartisan agreements on domestic spending. One of the explicit goals of past deficit reduction efforts, including the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission, has been to reduce the deficit without increasing poverty or inequality," Olver said. "If enacted, the Ryan budget would be the greatest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in our history."
H.Con.Res. 112 passed the House by a vote of 228-191 and now awaits action by the Senate.
Congressman Olver voted for an alternative budget offered by the top Democrat on the Budget Committee, Chris Van Hollen, as well as alternatives from the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus. None of these alternatives passed the House.
"The Democratic budget is a balanced approach that will sustain our economic recovery, preserves programs for the those who have been hardest by the downturn, and asks the wealthy to pay their share to bring down the deficit," Olver said.