Today, U.S. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) released her proposed budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2014, and the Committee began its markup of the resolution with members providing opening statements. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Committee, submitted a statement for the Committee's record which read, in part:
"As we work toward additional deficit reduction, the choice is clear -- the balanced Democratic approach of ending tax spending giveaways and investing in our nation's infrastructure or the Ryan Republican plan of cutting Pell Grants, turning Medicare into a voucher program, and reducing aid for the neediest Americans."
Chairman Murray's budget resolution would raise nearly $1 trillion in new revenue by eliminating wasteful tax loopholes, make smart cuts in federal spending, and invest in roads, bridges, and water infrastructure to create jobs. The Committee will begin voting on amendments to the resolution tomorrow.
Importantly, the Senate Democrats' proposal would also protect programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Pell Grants, which the House Republican budget resolution would cut. According to data compiled by the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center, the House Republicans' proposed budget would force more than 146,000 Rhode Islanders on Medicare to pay for preventive health care services they currently receive for free. It would also re-open the Medicare prescription drug "doughnut hole," which Senator Whitehouse helped eliminate as part of the Affordable Care Act -- causing nearly 14,000 Rhode Island seniors to pay an average of $996 more per person for prescription drugs in 2014 alone.