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CBC Hour: The People's Budget

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Unknown

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Ms. BASS. Thank you, Representative Horsford.

I do have to say, coming from the State house, it was a little discouraging to come here and find not a lot of common sense. So thank you for your leadership. And thank you very much, Representative Jeffries and especially Representative Scott, for your leadership and hours and hours of work that you've put into the Congressional Black Caucus budget.

Today, the Republican Party released a sprawling report detailing their failures to connect with the anxieties of middle class Americans, citing this as a major reason why they lost last year's Presidential election.

As a result, they are now promising a kinder, gentler Republican Party; but, sadly, the rhetoric just doesn't match the reality of the Paul Ryan budget, which is nothing more than a rehash of a failed agenda that the American people have already rejected.

The Republican budget continues to push harsh and unnecessary budget cuts that eliminate the safety net for millions of middle class Americans. The American people don't want a budget that breaks our promises to seniors by turning Medicare into a voucher program or cuts investments that support job creation just for the sake of more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers and corporations.

Yet my friends on the other side of the aisle continue pushing this failed approach all in the name of deficit reduction--except this weekend their own leadership admitted we don't have an immediate debt crisis in the country. Even the architect of the budget, Congressman Paul Ryan, said this weekend, ``We do not have a debt crisis right now.'' Speaker Boehner said, ``We do not have an immediate debt crisis'' and ``It's not an immediate problem.''

So why should we enact this failed budget when Democrats have offered a better and more balanced approach to protect the middle class and pay down the deficit? Why then should we pass a budget that gets 66 percent of its cuts from programs for people of low-or moderate incomes? Why should we pass a budget that cuts funding for programs like Pell Grants to help students go to college or cuts the SNAP program that helps to feed 48 million people just to give a $200,000 tax cut to millionaires? The budget put forward by the Congressional Black Caucus saves Pell Grants and continues the SNAP program to prevent Americans from going hungry while at the same time reducing the deficit by $2.8 trillion over 10 years.

The American people know we can't cut our way to prosperity, nor can we succeed by pursuing the same failed policies that wrecked our economy in the first place and undermine our economic recovery.

The Congressional Black Caucus budget offers a clear alternative that addresses the concerns of middle class Americans. Our budget is focused on core priorities for the middle class: creating jobs, growing the economy, strengthening the middle class, and reducing the deficit.

Our proposal puts people to work this year with specific and targeted investments, while investing also in education, energy, research, and infrastructure, and keeping our commitment to America's seniors.

Our plan is fair, balanced, reasonable, and responsible. It is pro-growth, pro-people, pro-America; and it is the approach favored by the majority in this country.

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