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Ms. SCHWARTZ. The Federal budget is a statement of our priorities and our values as a Nation. The budget should be fiscally responsible and reduce the deficit, it should make investments to grow our economy, and it should meet our obligations to our seniors, to our families, and to our future. And the Republican budget fails all three. The Republican budget threatens our Nation by undermining our economic growth and by shifting the financial burden for the deficit and for deficit reduction to our seniors and the middle class.
Republicans have made their choices clear: end Medicare as we know it, adding costs to seniors today and ending the Medicare guarantee tomorrow; slash investments for economic competitiveness; and give millionaires an average of $400,000 in tax breaks. The Republican budget eliminates protections for millions of our sickest, frailest seniors who depend on nursing home and home health services. And the Republican budget will increase taxes for average middle class families by $3,000. Their choices will cost 2 million jobs next year alone and decrease economic growth by 1.7 percent.
In contrast, the Democratic alternative preserves the Medicare guarantee; makes key investments in education, innovation, and infrastructure necessary for job creation and economic growth; and protects the middle class from large tax increases. The Democratic alternative reduces the deficit in a fiscally responsible and balanced way, without causing harm today and without threatening our economic competitiveness for the future. It reduces the deficit while meeting our commitments to our seniors, our frailest elderly, and our children.
I urge my colleagues to reject the Republican budget that threatens our seniors, our middle class, and our economic growth, and to vote for the Democratic alternative that builds on our great strengths as a Nation--an innovative, entrepreneurial business sector with a skilled, hardworking middle class. Vote for the Democratic alternative that builds on hope, opportunity, and security for all Americans.
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