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Letter to the U.S. House Committee on the Budget Chairman Paul Ryan - Budget Specifics

The Honorable Paul Ryan
U.S. House Committee on the Budget
207 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Ryan:

We are writing to express our concern about the lack of details in your Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. As Freshman Members of Congress, we reviewed your budget with an eye for opportunities to find common ground and move the country forward. However, upon reviewing your Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, we have found it to be overly vague and lacking concrete details necessary to help bring both sides of the aisle to the negotiating table.

While strong disagreements remain over the budget's proposed changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that assist seniors and working families, we had hoped to be able to find some areas in the budget to help build consensus. Too often the debate in Washington focuses on stark policy divides, and not on proposals on which both parties can agree.

Tax reform is an opportunity for both parties to work together, but without further details we cannot begin this vital debate. Your budget proposal promises to simplify the tax code, but only appears to reduce taxes for the wealthy. The budget assumes significant changes to individual tax brackets and corporate taxes which would be offset by eliminating tax loopholes, however, it fails to give examples of specific deductions or credits that would be eliminated. We respectfully request that you provide additional details outlining your vision for tax reform, so that we may make an honest assessment of your proposal.

Furthermore, creating jobs and getting people back to work should be the top priority of the 113th Congress. Yet, after reviewing your 2014 Budget, we are left in the dark about how your plan encourages job growth. In fact, many economists agree that the budget's drastic cuts to discretionary funding could slow job growth and hurt the economy. We agree that job-training programs will play a key role in preparing our workforce to compete in the 21st century economy, but it is unclear, based on your budget, how consolidating and cutting federal job-training programs will meet the goal of lowering unemployment.

We appreciate your attention to this request and look forward to receiving additional information so that we can find common ground and begin to tackle the fiscal challenges facing the nation.


Signers: Rep. Mark Takano (CA), Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH), Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA), Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA), Rep. Steven Horsford (NV), Rep. Jared Huffman (CA), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY), Rep. Joe Kennedy (MA), Rep. Dan Kildee (MI), Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA), Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (NH), Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA), Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM), Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA), Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA), Rep. Juan Vargas (CA), Rep. Marc Veasey (TX).

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