Statement ● 2020 Budget
For Immediate Release: 
March 27, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the Floor today against President Trump’s deeply irresponsible and harmful budget proposal. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:
 
Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in deep concern for our country and its ability to sustain investments in growing our economy and making opportunities available for our people.”

“Our country suffered the longest government shutdown in its history just a few months ago. For 35 days, 800,000 federal employees and their families were forced to go without paychecks. Our economy was burdened by uncertainty and a lack of confidence in our leaders. That shutdown was the direct result of the Trump Administration's confrontational approach to governing and its irresponsible decision to insist on a position that Congress had already rejected. I would have hoped they learned were that experience, but it appears that that is not the case.”

“Now, President Trump and Mick Mulvaney… sent to Congress a budget proposal that ramps up confrontation and sets up an even more difficult impasse. Their budget proposal… rejects six years of governing consensus, enshrined in three two-year budget agreements: to raise the caps put in place by the Budget Control Act (BCA) in a bipartisan way and according to the principle of parity, fairness, equalness. Adhering to that path of working together to raise the caps responsibly and at the same rate for defense and non-defense investments would be, in my view, the best way to ensure that appropriations for next year proceed on a bipartisan basis, so we can do the job of funding the government and avert another unnecessary, dangerous, and harmful shutdown in October.”

“The Administration's proposal of using the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account to avoid negotiating with Congress on responsibly dealing with the BCA caps and hide increases in defense funding, is a massive gimmick. Who said that? The Republican Majority said that a number of years ago. It is more than just an accounting sleight of hand with real implications with our national security planning and long-term strategy.”

“The OCO account was created to fund imminent defense priorities outside of the normal Pentagon budget planning cycle… If OCO were used the way the Administration intends, it could cripple multi-year planning by our military by calling into question every penny shifted into that account in future years. It is also disingenuous for them to demand that Congress pour money into defense through what Mr. Mulvaney himself has called a ‘back door slush fund’ …without acknowledging the need to compromise elsewhere on the ledger.”

“This is fiscal irresponsibility at its worst – because it is a veneer of concern for fiscal discipline used to hide the ugly truth of fiscal recklessness and brinksmanship. The Trump-Mulvaney budget is, to put it bluntly, a fraud.”

“Now, it is the Congress' job to move ahead with good faith efforts to agree on raising the caps… Appropriators need guidance also to build to begin the hard work of writing funding bills. They need to know what the agreed spending level will be.”

“…[I]t is my intention as Majority Leader of the House of Representatives to provide for the passage of the appropriations bills through the House of Representatives by the end of June. The Budget Act requires us to do it by June 30.”

“We need to get to work; we need to get to work together; we need to get this job done. Let's strive to achieve that which I know is achievable.”

“The Trump-Mulvaney budget proposal, was, sadly, a missed opportunity and more of a fiscally irresponsible charade. So I say to my friends on both sides of the aisle: let us strive to not miss our own opportunity to meet in good faith and produce a budget caps agreement that promotes fiscal sanity, uphold the principle of parity, and allows us to invest in a better future for our country.”

“I urge my colleagues to come together, to reason together, to establish a plan to proceed, not just for this year, but for a decade to come that is fiscally responsible, meets the challenges that we have, and seizes the opportunities that are in front of us.”