U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) Friday blasted the budget passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, saying it would harm West Virginia's economy and working, middle-class families.
"It is not fair, and it is not right, that the most privileged and comfortable in our society should be shielded from painful spending decisions, while higher costs for energy, health care, and education are shifted to working, middle-class families. Certainly, I am going to fight that kind of budget any way that I can," said Rahall.
"Should a budget like the one passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives ever be enacted into law, it would end traditional Medicare as we know it and eviscerate domestic investments in job creation and economic growth," said Rahall.
The Congressional budget, a nonbinding measure that does not have the force of law, traditionally sets spending and revenue levels for the year. This year, the $3.5 trillion budget put forward by the Republican majority proposes to cut deeply into domestic investments in transportation and water infrastructure, education and health care, law enforcement, and other job creating programs.
The Republican budget plan also includes a controversial proposal to restructure Medicare into a voucher system, ending the guaranteed payment of benefits for seniors' health care, and hinting at similar changes to the Social Security program.
"We have a moral obligation to the working West Virginians who have spent a lifetime paying into the Social Security and Medicare programs; seniors, especially those on fixed incomes, depend on the benefits they have earned and been promised and rightly deserve," said Rahall.