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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2015

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WELCH. I thank the gentleman.

We are both making an argument that aligns with our points of view on the budget, and the bottom line here is that we have got to invest, we have got to have a balanced budget, and we have got to figure out how to do it. But the question I have about this budget is: What is going to happen to the potholes in America?

I came out of a State legislature where we had constraints on us. We had to find ways to pay our bills within the means of the people of Vermont to be able to pay them. We had to deal with real problems. It required a confident approach to investing in the future. That has to be part of a budget.

America's roads are falling apart. Our bridges are falling down. This is a real disaster when it comes to meeting the infrastructure needs of this country. The American Society of Civil Engineers rates our infrastructure D-plus and estimates that the amount of investment needed by 2020 is $3.6 billion.

This budget accepts the looming insolvency of the highway trust fund, and it does absolutely nothing to fix it. Those potholes are not going to fix themselves. And that is not a Republican or Democratic deal. Those are potholes in your district and mine.

It is scientific research as well. Both sides of the aisle are proud of America's scientific achievements. What this budget continues to do is reduce and squeeze National Institutes of Health grants by about 1,400. Just in the State of Vermont, the University of Vermont has seen a 20 percent drop in those research grants that help those with Ph.D.'s find cures for diseases in the future.

A confident nation is going to fix its roads.


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