Reid Remarks On The Ryan-Koch Budget

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“In what has become an annual frustration for the American people, the tea party-controlled House Budget Committee released its budget proposal yesterday. It is frustrating for Americans because it does not reflect what they envision for this nation. In fact, the Ryan Budget more closely resembles the wants of the multi-billionaire Koch brothers.”

“To our nation’s seniors, after a lifetime of contributing to the economy and our society we’ve promised to shoulder the burden of health care.  Simply put, the Koch budget not only breaks that promise to seniors, but walks all over it.”

“This proposal breaks a solemn promise to every American family that by working hard and playing by the rules, you can get ahead in life.”

Washington, D.C.Nevada Senator Harry Reid spoke on the Senate floor today regarding the House GOP 2015  budget.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

In what has become an annual frustration for the American people, the tea party-controlled House Budget Committee released its budget proposal yesterday. It is frustrating for Americans because it does not reflect what they envision for this nation. In fact, the Ryan Budget more closely resembles the wants of the multi-billionaire Koch brothers. It is the Koch budget. For those who haven’t seen the previous iterations, this sequel is the same old story.  And it’s a story of broken promises – of broken promises to American children, seniors, and families. We have promised to protect and provide for our children, safeguarding them during the vulnerable years of childhood and adolescence. Yet, the Koch budget repeals the expansion of Medicaid to millions of Americans.  And if that weren’t enough, it cuts Medicaid by $1.5 trillion, including essential benefits for children.  House Republicans also take aim at the promise of a quality education for American children. Their budget slashes tens of billions of dollars in funding to schools and rolls back federal financial aid to college students. The Koch budget effectively tells our nation’s kids, “you’re on your own.”

To our nation’s seniors, after a lifetime of contributing to the economy and our society we’ve promised to shoulder the burden of health care.  Simply put, the Koch budget not only breaks that promise to seniors, but walks all over it. The tea party-driven House proposes to turn over seniors’ health to companies that prioritize profit over all else.  It would be the end of Medicare as we know it.  Health insurance premiums for seniors would skyrocket, as would their prescription costs. Finally, this proposal breaks a solemn promise to every American family that by working hard and playing by the rules, you can get ahead in life. But what do the Republicans propose to do with the money they cut from Medicare, Medicaid and education? Create more tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.

The Koch budget would cut the corporate tax rate to 25%, and lower the top individual tax rate for America’s highest earners. I guess $80 billion of personal wealth just isn’t enough for two men. Democrats believe in growing the economy from the middle out. Under the House plan, middle-class families with children can expect to pay more taxes. Perhaps the Koch budget was summed up best by the President of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, Robert Greenstein: “More poverty and less opportunity.” And that is the most severe broken promise of all – the promise of the American Dream.

I invite my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to put aside the will of radical influences within their party. Whether it’s current law like the Affordable Care Act, or much-needed legislation like comprehensive immigration reform, or an overhaul of our tax system, work with us to bolster these efforts. Join with us in improving the quality of life for all Americans, not just the wealthy.

 

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