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Ms. MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM of New Mexico. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the Republican budget plan. This misguided and cruel plan abandons the economic recovery. It is a path to greater disparity, and it protects the affluent while further squeezing the middle class.
We cannot afford this Republican budget. According to the Economic Policy Institute, it will cost us 2 million jobs in 2014. This is on top of the 750,000 jobs we will lose this year due to sequestration.
The Republican budget attacks the various industries where the largest job growth should be occurring. We need to invest in critical infrastructure like the health care system as a key way to create jobs here at home and protect our most vulnerable.
According to a 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the health sector is going to be the leader in job growth throughout the rest of this decade. Unfortunately, the path once again chosen by Republicans in this Congress will put job growth in jeopardy.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the budget plan under consideration cuts $2.5 trillion from health care by 2023. How? It turns Medicare into a voucher program and it block grants Medicaid to States. This will force health care providers to cut jobs and to reduce services to their patients.
With an aging population that will require greater care, we should be investing in critical infrastructure like health care and other programs like disease and care management, which have and will continue to reduce spending in Medicare.
So let's be clear: this budget wreaks havoc on health care systems in this country, it hurts patients, and it devastates future job growth in the health sector.
Lastly, this plan also chooses to arbitrarily balance the budget in 10 years, which is harmful to our fragile economy and middle class families. The notion that 10 years is the magic number to balance the budget is ludicrous. It is similar to telling mortgage holders who are responsibly paying their mortgage that, instead
of having 30 years to pay it off, now they have 10. Would they be able to? Many of them would end up losing the house. That is exactly what the Ryan budget does and why, to the Nation's budget and to our economy, it puts us under water.
Instead, I would encourage all of my colleagues to support the Van Hollen substitute, which is a balanced approach that leads to job creation and is the right way forward.
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