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Public Statements

CBC Hour: The People's Budget

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. FUDGE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I want to thank my colleagues, Congressmen Jeffries and Horsford, for again leading the Congressional Black Caucus Special Order hour on an issue of great importance--the Federal budget.

Mr. Speaker, every year since 1981, the Congressional Black Caucus has produced an alternative budget to both Republican and Democratic budgets. The CBC budget has consistently provided a fair and balanced approach to managing the Federal Government's finances. The CBC alternative budget for fiscal year 2014 is a pro-growth, pro-people, and pro-America budget. It acknowledges that only by investing in Americans, in the American people, can you build a bridge to a better America.

This message could not be more important as our Nation still struggles to recover from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Compounding this problem is growing income inequality. America needs congressional leadership to pull us out of our economic malaise, address our fiscal issues, and ensure that our recovery is felt in every community. Unfortunately, this is where the House Republican budget fails.

Chairman Ryan's budget attempts to lead America towards financial success by placing America's most vulnerable on the path to financial ruin. The Republican budget seeks to cut education funding, including money for Pell Grants. It slashes economic assistance to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which could mean 8 to 9 million eligible households without benefits. It dismantles the Affordable Care Act. This means reducing access to affordable health care for the 27 million uninsured Americans who are projected to gain coverage under the law. This is neither the vision that the American people want, nor is it what the American people need.

Now, let's contrast the CBC budget and how it creates opportunity instead of snatching it away.

The CBC budget includes $230 billion in the maintenance and repair for public transit, highways, airports, ports, railroads, bridges, and other infrastructure investments; $13 billion for workforce developments programs, such as the Workforce Investment Act Adult Program, the Dislocated Worker Program, Job Corps and other employment and training services.

It includes $50 billion to provide relief to States to preserve teacher and first responder jobs, and $50 billion for neighborhood stabilization programs that provide affordable housing development, infrastructure improvements and other community development needs.

The CBC budget accomplishes all this while raising $1 trillion in new revenue to avoid sequestration. The economic recession has damaged our communities. Trillions of dollars in wealth were lost. Poverty rates for African Americans and Latinos soared to 26 and 23 percent, respectively. America doesn't need an austerity budget. It doesn't need a budget that looks at the struggling American people and says ``you're on your own.'' Americans need and deserve more.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the CBC fiscal year 2014 budget.

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Ms. FUDGE. Absolutely. I thank the gentlelady.

What we have done in this budget, not only did we put in $13 billion for workforce training, for Job Corps, for dislocated workers, retraining, segment training, but, in total, we have almost $500 billion worth of job creation built into our budget, more than any budget--more than any budget--whether it be the Democratic Caucus, the White House budget, or the Republican budget. We have doubled down on jobs in the CBC budget.

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