CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 -- (House of Representatives - March 16, 2005)
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Mr. CLYBURN. Mr. Chairman, I thank my colleague and good friend for yielding me time.
Mr. Chairman, today I rise to support the Congressional Black Caucus fiscal year 2006 budget substitute which has three main focuses.
First and foremost, it restores fiscal responsibility to the Federal budget process. Secondly, it keeps our Nation's promises to our veterans and provides the equipment and materials needed to support our men and women on active duty. Thirdly, this budget funds efforts to close gaps and eliminate disparities in America's communities and among its citizens.
We restore fiscal responsibility by closing tax loopholes and eliminating the repeal of the limitation on itemized deductions, the phase-out of personal exemptions scheduled to take place between 2006 and 2010. We get rid of abusive shelters and tax incentives for offshoring jobs. This budget reduces the deficit by $167 billion over the House majority's budget over the next 5 years which reduces our interest payments by $27 billion.
Mr. Chairman, our colleagues on the other side are fond of talking about supporting and respecting our troops, but they do not put their money where their mouths are. The Republican budget resolution mandates almost $800 million in cuts to veterans mandatory programs. These are reductions in disability compensation, pension benefits, education benefits, and death benefits.
The President also proposes to increase fees and drug payments on veterans. The CBC budget increases funding for veterans by $4.65 billion. We restore veterans health care, enhance survivor benefits, medical and prosthetic research, long term care, and mental health care.
Mr. Chairman, under the issue of education, the President's budget eliminates 48 education programs that receive $4.3 billion this year. The CBC budget increases funding for education by $23.9 billion. It fully funds No Child Left Behind. It provides $2.5 billion for school construction, increases vocational educational job training, increases Pell grants by $450 million, increases Head Start by funding by $2 billion.
Mr. Chairman, unlike the President, we are not playing budgetary games. We increase funding for Pell grants by tapping into new revenue.
The President, on the other hand, has increased funding for Pell grants by taking needed funds from programs such as the school lunch program for low-income children.
Mr. Chairman, there is no greater betrayal or broken promise to the American people than that which can be found in the President's budget for rural America.
The President recommends cutting agricultural programs by $9 billion over 5 years, and the Republican budget has suggested cutting the program by only $5 billion.
On the other hand, the CBC budget increases funding for programs that benefit rural communities by more than $3 billion. We increase funding for agricultural issues by more than $300 million; increase funding for community and resource development by more than $1.5 billion, Community Development Block Grants by $1.1 billion.
In addition, the Republican budget cuts funding for 17 different community and economic development programs that provide housing, water and sewer improvements and small business loans.
Mr. Chairman, in this budget we maintain tax cuts for wage earners making less than $200,000 a year, and we roll back cuts on the top 2 percent of Americans, and by doing so, we have saved almost $47 billion that we have used to invest in the human assets of this country, the American people.
I thank my colleague so much for yielding me the time.
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