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Public Statements

Congressional Progressive Caucus Unveils the Back to Work Budget

Floor Speech

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Mr. TAKANO. I'd like to thank my friend, the gentleman from Wisconsin, for yielding the time this evening.

Earlier today, I was joined by 22 of my fellow freshman Democrats in sending a letter to the distinguished gentleman from Wisconsin (Mr. Ryan) requesting specifics for his 2014 budget.

As freshman Members, we had hoped Mr. Ryan's budget provided areas where both parties, Democrats and Republicans, could find common ground. Instead, what was presented was a document that was vague. How can we begin to negotiate when we don't even know what we're negotiating? And where Mr. Ryan is specific, it's in areas that he knows that Democrats won't agree.

Ezra Klein of The Washington Post described Mr. Ryan's so-called ``Path to Prosperity'' in the following ways:

He cuts deep into spending on health care for the poor and some combination of education, infrastructure, research, public safety and low-income families. The Affordable Care Act's Medicare cuts remain, but the military is spared, as is Social Security. There's a vague individual tax reform plan that leaves only two brackets--10 percent and 25 percent--and will require either huge, deficit busting tax cuts or increasing taxes on poor and middle class households, as well as a vague corporate tax reform plan that lowers the rate from 35 to 25 percent.

After reading Mr. Ryan's budget, I find this document bears a striking resemblance to the tactics used by the Romney campaign: Promise massive tax cuts but don't provide any specifics on how to pay for them. This is surprising since Mr. Ryan is considered a ``serious'' policy maker.

My colleagues who joined me today don't expect to agree with everything in Mr. Ryan's budget. But as we detailed in our letter today, we hope to find areas of common ground so that our country can move forward. Only then can we begin to tackle the fiscal challenges facing our Nation.

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