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Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Chair, I rise in strong opposition to the disastrous budget put forward by the House Majority. Once again, the Majority has put forward a plan that slashes deeply into our commonsense priorities and tries to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, women, and the most vulnerable.
A budget is about more than just numbers--it is a reflection and embodiment of our values and priorities as a society. Our budget should advance our moral responsibilities as a nation to provide for the common good. I just attended the installation of Pope Francis in Rome, where he stressed the importance of working ``to protect all of God's people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important.''
But the budget before us, like the previous iterations composed by Chairman Ryan and supported by the House Majority, once again fails this critical moral test. In fact, it gets it exactly backwards. To pay for expanded tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, two-thirds of the nondefense cuts over ten years here come to programs that serve low- and moderate-income families.
If this budget were to become law, the Economic Policy Institute estimates that two million jobs will be lost next year alone. That is not all. Millions of students would lose the access to college education that comes through Pell Grants. 190,000 children would lose access to Head Start. National Service programs like Americorps would be ended.
Medicaid would be slashed by nearly a third, cutting families off from access to health care. Food Stamps by nearly 18 percent, with up to nine million people cut off from assistance they need so they do not go hungry. Both would be converted to an inadequate block grant. The health reforms we passed would all be rolled back meaning the donut hole will reopen, women would once again have to pay more for the same insurance as men, and children with preexisting conditions could lose their coverage.
Seniors would have to pay more during retirement for health care. The Child Tax Credit would expire in 2017. And middle-class families would pay $2000 more a year in taxes, all to pay for a $200,000 tax cut for millionaires.
The American people already roundly rejected this Reverse Robin Hood plan last November. Instead, they want us to use the budget as a vehicle to create jobs and grow the economy. I urge my colleagues to respect their wishes, and to vote against this latest iteration of the same old Republican budget.
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