U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) made the following statement on Thursday as the Senate Budget Committee held a markup of Senate Democrats' budget plan. Although required by law, Senate Democrats have not passed a budget since 2009. The Democrat-led budget currently before the committee was unveiled by Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Wednesday.
"Despite having four years to work on a responsible budget, Senate Democrats have failed to put together a plan with sensible reforms to lower the federal debt and encourage the economic growth we need," said Wicker, who is a member of the Senate Budget Committee. "Instead, they seek tax hikes to pay for more government spending, without ever achieving a balanced budget. Having an honest debate about the real drivers of the federal debt is crucial to securing America's financial future and protecting the prosperity of future generations."
The budget proposed by Senate Democrats would raise taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade and grow the size of the government by nearly 5 percent per year. According to independent analyses from the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis and the Tax Foundation, the plan would lower America's gross domestic product by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years; weaken job growth by an average of 603,000 jobs annually; cut after-tax incomes by $2.7 trillion; and reduce average household income by $2,480. In Mississippi, the tax changes could lead to more than 7,500 lost job opportunities by 2018.
In part, Sen. Wicker said, "I think this budget is about giving us a government that's able to bring that unemployment rate down and make life better for people who want a job."
On Thursday, Sen. Wicker questioned committee staff about Senate Democrats' spend-and-tax plan, in particular whether it would lead to a balanced budget.