Reid Floor Remarks On Extreme, Unbalanced Ryan Republican Budget
March 13, 2013
“The Ryan Republican budget is anything but balanced. And it reflects the same backwards values Americans rejected in November.”
“These drastic cuts will literally cost lives. They will also cost jobs.”
“Congressman Ryan’s cuts will buy more tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. This budget isn’t a serious attempt to reduce the deficit.”
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding Republican Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
Yesterday Americans got their first look at this year’s Ryan Republican budget. Turns out it looks a lot like last year’s Ryan Republican budget.
And I wasn’t the only one with a case of déjà vu. Here’s the headline from Bloomberg news: “Ryan Budget Replays Republican Hits.”
One Washington Post reporter compared the release of the not-so-new and certainly-not-improved Ryan Republican budget to the movie Groundhog Day – in which Bill Murray relives his least favorite holiday over and over. This is what that Washington Post reporter wrote: “The unrepentant reprisal of the same fiscal vision that was decisively repudiated last fall is bound to attract notice.”
Indeed, this is the same budget plan we saw from Congressman Ryan last year and the year before that. Even the name is the same. If anything, this new version is even more extreme than the last two Ryan Republican budget proposals – proposals that sought to end the Medicare guarantee and raise taxes on middle class families all while handing out more tax breaks to the wealthy.
The Ryan Republican budget is anything but balanced. And it reflects the same backwards values Americans rejected in November.
Instead of asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share, the Ryan Republican budget demands middle-class families pay more in taxes each year. Instead of ending wasteful corporate tax loopholes, it ends Medicare as we know it.
In fact, the Ryan Republican budget takes special aim at health care. It would eliminate free preventive health services for 34 million Americans. The Ryan Republican budget would increase prescription drug prices for seniors by $2.5 billion next year alone. It would end the guarantee of coverage for 3.1 million young men and women who are on their parents’ health plans. The budget would end coverage for mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and contraception for more than 47 million women. And it would allow insurance companies to deny care for 17 million children simply because they were born with a heart defect or other illness.
These drastic cuts will literally cost lives. They will also cost jobs. Instead of a balanced approach that protects the American economy, the Ryan Republican budget guts education, medical research, infrastructure and public safety. The Ryan Republican plan would actually jeopardize the economic recovery.
And in case you were thinking such huge and painful cuts could buy an awful lot of deficit reduction, think again. Instead Congressman Ryan’s cuts will buy more tax breaks for the wealthiest among us. This budget isn’t a serious attempt to reduce the deficit. Meaningful deficit reduction will require shared sacrifice, including contributions from those who can best afford to contribute.
Today Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray will introduce a budget that reflects that principle of balanced. Senator Murray’s plan – the Democratic plan – will cut wasteful spending, reduce the deficit and close tax loopholes that benefit the rich. And it will invest in the things that help our economy grow – education, preventive health care, worker training and roads and bridges. It will invest in a strong middle class. And, unlike the Ryan Republican plan, it won’t leave you wondering if it’s Groundhog Day all over again.