WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks on the House Floor today against the Republican budget, which is a vehicle for partisan tax cuts for the wealthy. Below is a video and a transcript of his remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, the Budget Act adopted in 1974 requires that the House complete work on its budget for the next fiscal year by April 15. That's 172 days ago. Yet, we now have a budget resolution on the Floor, already into the fiscal year for which the budget supposedly is planned. Some may ask why? The answer is a simple one.
“This is, first of all, not a realistic budget, which could or should stand as a budget resolution. No. This budget is not about putting our country on a sustainable fiscal path, and, this is indisputable, it is not a budget to inform the appropriators of budget priorities and constraints. No. The Appropriations Committee will not be informed. Why? Because we've already passed the appropriation bills. This budget doesn't have anything to do with the appropriation bills. They're passed. They're gone. They're in the Senate.
“This is merely a vehicle for achieving partisan tax reform of the kind that President Trump and Republican leaders in Congress outlined last week. Despite what this sham of a budget pretends, their plan is to push through tax changes that massively increase deficits. I call it the granddaddy of all debt increases, while shifting even more wealth from the middle class and working families to people like Donald Trump.
“According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 80% of the tax cuts in this proposal would go only to those who make over $900,000 a year. Hear me. The tax cuts mainly go to those making, in this nation, over $900,000 per year.
“Despite promises from President Trump and Republicans here in the House, their plan actually raises taxes, hear me, while cutting taxes over $900,000, it actually raises taxes on one in three middle-class families who earn between $50,000 and $150,000. Even though Republicans continue to assert the discredited supply side mantra that says tax cuts pay for themselves, no responsible economist believes that. Not one. Responsible is the operative word.
“The Tax Policy Center's analysis found their tax cuts would…add $2.4 trillion to deficits over the next 10 years. The previous Speaker said this balances the budget in nine years. That's Alice In Wonderland balance. It will never happen. I've been here for 36. I've heard those comments all the time. It never happened.
“But it's even worse, Mr. Speaker. The budget resolution also proposes to disinvest in job creation. It pretends the Republicans were able to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It hasn't been repealed. Yet, they pretend it's been repealed to kick 23 million off their coverage and make those with pre-existing conditions uninsurable. It guts Medicaid and would end the Medicare guarantee. Furthermore, it would severely cut programs that reduce poverty and provide the kind of job training proven to get more people back into the work force.
“This resolution is a grab bag of all the worst Republican policies: partisan tax cuts for the wealthy that leave the middle class behind, the cruelty of TrumpCare, and draconian reductions in domestic investment. The product is just as bad as the sum of its parts. Indeed, it's worse.
“Instead, we ought to be working together to enact bipartisan tax reform that's fiscally responsible and focused on the middle class.
“I urge my colleagues to defeat this resolution, and I ask Republicans who believe that tax reform must be permanent and therefore be bipartisan to join us in doing so.
“Only one person can stop spending and that's the President of the United States, he can veto spending bills. The debt under Ronald Reagan increased 189%. Under Bush one, 55%. He had four years. Under Clinton, 37%. Under Bush two, 86%. Under Obama, who was dealing with the deepest recession of our lifetimes, 87%.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a budget is supposed to inform the Appropriations Committee of how it ought to proceed. This budget comes after the fact and is only for tax cuts for the wealthy, and I yield back the balance of my time.”