Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today after voting against the House Republicans' budget for Fiscal Year 2014. Luján took to the House floor last week to discuss the measure after it had been introduced.
"For New Mexico's families, it's painfully clear that House Republicans failed to learn a lesson when their proposals were rejected by the American people last November. Once again, Chairman Paul Ryan is pushing for the same failed policies that are out of touch with the needs of middle-class families and those who are looking for an opportunity to work their way into the middle class.
"Last year, House Republicans offered a budget -- a statement of their principles -- that called for the end of Medicare as we know it by replacing the Medicare guarantee with a voucher that fails to cover the cost of health care for New Mexico seniors. This year's budget again seeks to shift the cost on to the backs of seniors with a plan that will increase out-of-pocket costs by approximately $2,000.
"In a budgeting sleight of hand, House Republicans included the repeal of health care reform in their budget, something they tried to do more than 30 times last Congress rather than focus on jobs and the economy. But while calling for the repeal of a law that ends discrimination for pre-existing conditions and extends the solvency of Medicare, the Republican budget uses the savings health care reform will create to help make their numbers work. This means seniors across New Mexico would pay more for prescription drugs and preventative health services.
"Meanwhile, when it comes to taxes, the budget cuts taxes for those at the top leaving Republicans with only two options -- add to the deficit or raise taxes on middle-class families to make up for the revenue shortfall. No matter how you add it up, this math just doesn't work out for the people of New Mexico.
"That is why House Democrats put forth alternative proposals that make the jobs deficit our first priority and offer a better path forward for the American people than the Ryan-Republican budget. With the economic downturn contributing to the deficit and leaving too many people looking for work, our top priority should be investments that spur job creation and economic growth. The Democratic alternatives would have replaced the sequester's arbitrary cuts with a balanced plan that invests in education, infrastructure, and renewable energy. While I may not agree with 100 percent of each Democratic budget that was offered, they all addressed the need to spur job creation while putting us on a responsible fiscal path."