Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico's Third District released the following statement today after voting against House Republicans' budget for Fiscal Year 2015.
"With this budget, House Republicans have outlined their priorities and their roadmap for our country. Unfortunately, it would take us down a path that weakens the middle class at the expense of more tax breaks for those at the top. It cuts investments that are critical to growing our economy and giving the American people an opportunity to get ahead.
"Rather than enhance our nation's competitiveness by strengthening our investment in education and job training programs that help our workforce prepare for good jobs, the Republican budget cuts these. Rather than investing in clean energy, innovation, and manufacturing that has the potential to boost our economy and create jobs in our communities, the Republican budget goes in the opposite direction.
"When it comes to how the Republican budget treats the most vulnerable in our society, the impact is even worse. Approximately 69 percent of the cuts included in the Republican budget come from programs that assist low-income Americans. It slashes funding for nutrition programs at a time when too many New Mexico children are hungry, for Pell Grants that help students afford a higher education, and for Medicaid that provides health care for low-income families. In addition, this legislation would end Medicare as we know it by replacing it with a voucher that fails to cover the cost of health care for New Mexico's seniors. It shifts the costs onto the backs of seniors, leaving them to pay higher out-of-pocket costs.
"I believe that there is a better path forward and that we can give hard-working New Mexicans a better chance to succeed. It begins with a commitment to education at all levels so that our children can begin on the right foot while those already in the workforce can get the training they need to pursue a career in a new field that offers more opportunities. And it includes a framework to reform our broken immigration system - one of the best steps that we could take to strengthen our economy. A recent CBO report shows immigration reform would reduce our deficit by $900 billion while creating new jobs, increasing wages and expanding economic output. While I may not agree with 100 percent of each alternative Democratic budget that was offered, they all address the top priorities that can get our economy back on track and stand in stark contrast to House Republicans' budget plan."