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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. LEE of California. Let me first thank Congressman Bobby Scott for your tremendous leadership in putting together the Congressional Black Caucus's alternative budget; also, our chair, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, for her very bold vision in helping to move this forward.

As a member of the Budget Committee, as I said yesterday, I've had a chance to get into the weeds of the Republican budget. And I can say with certainty that I strongly support the Congressional Black Caucus budget because it is pro-growth, pro-people, and pro-American.

I just want to follow up on the gentlewoman from Wisconsin's comments, Congresswoman Moore, who so eloquently stated the jobs provisions of this budget.

Let me show you the chart with regard to the 5 million jobs that this budget creates. When you look at the fact that without the Congressional Black Caucus's budget it will take us until April 2015 to create enough jobs to take us back to prerecession employment, that is not acceptable with so many people in our country who are unemployed.

This budget enhances Medicare and Medicaid.

It cancels the devastating sequester and it reins in bloated Pentagon spending.

We actually end the Overseas Contingency Fund when the President's goal is accomplished in 2014 of bringing our young men and women home from Afghanistan. This is really a slush fund. It's not even funded through the Pentagon. It's a slush fund through somewhere over at the State Department.

This budget provides $230 billion to revitalize our Nation's infrastructure and creates a $500 million jobs program to accelerate the Nation's economic recovery.

To help families stay secure in their homes until the economy fully recovers, our budget also funds a restoration of critical unemployment benefits to the full 99 weeks.

Also, we support a real effort to eradicate poverty in America with the 10-20-30 formula, which targets resources to communities that need assistance.

And we call for a national strategy to eradicate poverty by cutting it in half in 10 years.

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Ms. LEE of California. Let me just also conclude by saying our budget protects the safety net and protects those initiatives which create pathways out of poverty, such as the earned income tax credit, the child tax credit, the SNAP program, food and nutrition assistance, and the program that assists women with nutrition assistance when they're pregnant. All of these efforts are protected in the Congressional Black Caucus budget; whereas, the Ryan budget would cut these programs. These are needed desperately as we move to a pathway to prosperity.

Our budget is pro-American, pro-growth, and pro-people.

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Ms. LEE of California. Let me thank Congressmen Grijalva and Ellison for their bold and visionary leadership of the Progressive Caucus.

As a member of the Budget Committee opposed to the job-killing ``Pathway to Poverty'' Ryan budget, I stand in strong support of the Progressive Caucus Back to Work budget. The number one priority of the Progressive Caucus budget is fixing the job crisis. That is exactly what we want to do in our Back to Work budget. That is what it does.

Most economists argue that job creation equals deficit reduction. The CPC budget asks the wealthiest 1 percent, Big Oil, and huge corporations to pay just a little more so we can invest in the American people and create 7 million American jobs.

Our budget saves over $1.8 trillion in bloated Pentagon spending by eliminating the Overseas Contingency Operations account, which really is a slush fund that has funded two wars off budget. We refocus our resources into a modern military able to face 21st century threats.

We also require the Pentagon, the single largest Federal agency, with the highest waste, fraud, and abuse, to pass an audit test and pass it now. It is the only Federal agency not subject to an audit.

Our budget replaces the disastrous sequester by supporting critical spending in education, infrastructure, and we reject benefit cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

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Ms. LEE of California. Mr. Chair, let me thank our Ranking Member, Congressman Van Hollen.

As a Member of the Budget Committee, I rise in strong support of the Democratic Alternative Budget to the disastrous Republican Budget.

The Democratic budget will close special interest tax loopholes to raise the critical revenue we need to create 1.2 million new jobs, and make key investments in education, health care and clean energy.

Mr. Chair, the Democratic Alternative not only fully funds the SNAP program, it includes language that calls for the creation of a National Strategy on Poverty.

Democrats understand that fully supporting our safety net programs, like Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, and Social Security, will reduce poverty, grow the middle class, and promote job creation and economic growth.

Finally, the Democratic Budget eliminates off budget spending in the Oversees Contingency Operations slush fund to stop our cycle of perpetual wars and bring our troops home safely.

The Democratic Budget offers a balanced alternative to the failed economic and fiscal policies of the Republican majority.

I urge my colleagues to support the Democratic Budget.

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