Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) criticized the House Republican Budget plan as being "tone deaf" and "damaging to the county." This budget has no chance for adoption in the Senate. Rep. Engel has repeatedly called for a bipartisan, balanced approach towards long-term financial planning. He has voted against all of the haphazard plans which were unbalanced -- such as the 2011 Budget Control Act, which created sequestration.
"My Republican colleagues have forgotten there was an election a few short months ago where these very policies were soundly rejected by the American people. No matter what kind of dressing they put on it, this budget is just a rehash of those rejected, failed policies. When Newt Gingrich, never before confused as a liberal thinking, went so far as to call this same budget "right-wing social engineering,' it becomes clear this is not about growing our economy. It is tone deaf, and will damage to our country's future financial health.
"The guts of this plan to balance the budget in 10 years come from massive cuts to anything and everything which would benefit low- to middle-income families. It will lead to a loss of 750,000 jobs in this year alone if it was adopted -- a return to the job loss numbers from the end of the Bush Administration. It not only fails to address any alternatives to the stupid sequestration plan, but fully embraces the deep cuts to Medicare.
"Despite 30+ failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and a Supreme Court ruling upholding the law, the Republican budget once again includes repeal. This would be as if the 49ers lined up to run another play in the Super Bowl as the Ravens carried off the championship trophy. It is pointless, and a complete waste of time. However, the budget does keep all of the Medicare Advantage program cuts which were made to help pay for the expanded coverage. Those are the same cuts Republicans criticized the President for during the last election -- which they gladly embrace now. The nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation estimates this budget would take away health care for around 35 million Americans.
"This budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program, Medicaid and food stamps into block grants, it would devastate federal spending to such vital areas such as education of our youth and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. It does nothing to encourage home buying, or enable students to afford college. Essentially, the budget is pushing the burden to low-income families and seniors -- those who are in the most need -- and maintaining tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
"If balancing the budget was the primary goal, Democrats would work with Republicans in the House to design a plan where both sides would be required to make some very difficult concessions. This is what compromise is all about, and it is what our form of government relies upon. As long as compromise remains a dirty word to many of the Tea Party Republicans, not only will we never see a long-term budget agreement, but we will never be able to agree on any of the issues which need attention."
Rep. Engel is the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and a senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.