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Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, in presenting our Back to Work budget, a budget of the Progressive Caucus of this House, we are first pleased to announce that in less than 48 hours, 105,000 citizen cosponsors have joined with us in presenting this budget. They are pleased to affirm, and the point of this is House Budget Committee chairman, Representative Paul Ryan, has released a budget proposal that is the most reckless austerity plan he's ever proposed. Instead, we get a budget that will slow the economy and kill jobs.

We urge you to vote for the Progressive Caucus' Back to Work budget which will grow the economy, create 7 million jobs, and ask the wealthy and multinationals to pay their fair share so we can make investments in our people and our future--105,000 citizen cosponsors in less than 48 hours.

With that, I yield 2 minutes to the cochair of the Progressive Caucus, my friend, the gentleman from Minnesota, Keith Ellison.


Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, there is some adage about if you do the same thing over and over again without changing it, that that is a mark of insanity. That adage applies to the Ryan budget 2, the same as Ryan budget 1, and to 10 years of failed fiscal policy that our budget, by putting people to work, attempts to get us out of that fiscal black hole.

With that, let me yield 1 minute to the gentlelady from California, Congresswoman Lee.


Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Chairman, when, in the course of the last decade-plus, multinational corporations, billionaires in this country have been curried favor with tax breaks, loopholes that have allowed them to pay less than the average American, that has hurt the economy. And I would suggest that, aside from thievery, that is gaming the system and not sharing in the full responsibility we all have as Americans to take care of this country.

I would now yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Wisconsin, Congressman Pocan.


Mr. GRIJALVA. The Back to Work budget sets a level of 2006 for defense. Pentagon spending has doubled over the last decade; 2006 was the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the war on terrorism. We just celebrated the 10th anniversary of Iraq. There has been $2.2 trillion spent on that war--a war, I might say, that was not paid for at all. This does not cripple defense; this merely brings it to a realistic level so as to share in the reconstruction of this economy of ours.

With that, I yield 1 minute to the gentlelady from California (Ms. Waters).


Mr. GRIJALVA. I yield myself the balance of my time.

The Back to Work budget is a budget that is common sense, and it reflects the values of the American people. It is a budget that deals with the realities of our economic times and our social times in this country.

This budget is about investment. It's about saying that the greatest resource we have in this country is the American people. We need to put them to work. We need to educate them for the future, and we need to provide them with some economic security for the middle class, working people, so they, too, can enjoy the economic benefits of this great Nation of ours.

We also do not step on those who are the most vulnerable. We provide them with the security, with Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid, so that they, too, can continue to utilize the full benefits of those earned benefits that they have.

This fiscal debate today with the Ryan budget, too, and the other good budgets that have been proposed today is really an argument and a debate about the values and the future of this Nation. The Back to Work budget accepts the reality that we're in. It does not try to repeat a failed policy of the past, and takes us in a direction that in 10 years--and in 10 years, this country will be more solvent, more secure, and unemployment will be down and the investment in this time will pay off tremendous dividends for the future. Our budget is about the future. It is not about being mired in the past, as the Ryan budget is.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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