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Blumenauer: House Budget Proposal Draconian, Reinforces Deep Divisions


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Representative Earl Blumenauer, member of the Budget committee, released the following statement on the 2014 House Budget proposal:

The Republican Budget introduced today reinforces the continuing deep divisions in Congress rather than meeting the challenges our country faces and the prescription for correcting them.

It has long been clear that the American public supports a balanced Budget solution. The presidential election results substantiate this. The Republican budget ignores this repudiation and proceeds to dismantle programs that help the poorest and most vulnerable among us while putting our fragile recovery at risk.

I am committed to a robust vision of rebuilding and renewing America, which includes broad-based revenues and making our policies and programs performance-based. We can and should scale down bureaucratic overhead, increase accountability, and provide federal support for comprehensive initiatives that provide real benefit to the American people. It is possible to build this strong America without weakening Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security and shifting the burden to those who are dependent on those programs.

But, to achieve this, we must start doing things differently here in Washington.

We should not pass virtually the same draconian budget that has come through the House the previous two years, only to see it be dead on arrival in the Senate and never accepted by the President. Instead, we should turn our attention to problems that we can actually solve right now in this Congress with bipartisan support. These include reforming our tax code, and reducing the over 2/3 of a trillion dollars spent on a nuclear weapons program that is better suited to the long-ago Cold War than to the defense needs of today. We must also reform our wasteful agricultural subsidies, rationalize our drug laws, and institute a broad-based carbon tax to generate the money America needs and protect the planet.

In this vein, I am offering an amendment to the Budget that restores funding for transportation investments. The Republican cuts would have a negative impact on our economy, cost us tens of thousands of construction jobs we can't afford to lose, and stifle efforts to renew and rebuild at a time when communities, and the nation, need it most. Our national freight infrastructure carries 40% of the goods shipped in America, but is outdated and falling apart. Almost 70,000 bridges across the country are classified as "structurally deficient," according to the Federal Highway Administration. Adequate infrastructure funding is the fastest way to a more stable economy.

Now is the time to chart a balanced, commonsense route forward. We should not miss this opportunity to show how we can do things differently here in Washington.

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