VIDEO: Chairman Xavier Becerra On The Reckless Republican Budget

April 10, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.– Today, Congressman Xavier Becerra (CA-34), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, spoke on the floor of the House against the reckless Republican budget:

“I want to thank the Ranking Member on Budget for, first all the work that he has done over the years in trying to get America back on track when it comes to what it should do with its budgets. Budgets are a testament to our values and our priorities and I believe Mr. Van Hollen has made it very clear what the values and priorities of members on this side of the aisle are. It’s about making sure that we invest the taxpayer dollars to help our economy grow, to help grow jobs and to help our kids grow up and get to college.

“But let me remind everyone here of something. Remember those brainless autopilot sequester cuts, which had been scheduled for last year, which led to the Republican shut down of our government? Well the Republican budget of 2014 is sequester on steroids.

“Remember last year’s autopilot sequester cuts that would have kicked over 50,000 children out of Head Start classes? Well the 2014 Republican budget kicks 170,000 kids out of Head Start classes.

“This Republican budget would kill jobs. 1.1 million Americans are likely to lose their job as a result of this budget. 3 million more probably the following year are the estimates.

This budget would cut senior Social Security benefits by changing the way we calculate their cost of living increases so that they would get less each year, even though we know the cost of living for seniors keeps going up.

“It would continue to reduce our investments in very important projects that include Medicare because this Republican budget would voucherize Medicare; it would turn into a privatize version of what we have now without the guarantees, so that seniors would be paying more for their prescription drugs.

“It would close, this Republican budget, would close not one single wasteful corporate tax loophole, and instead it actually offers millionaires a $200,000 tax cut at the same time that it is increasing taxes for the middle class by about $2,000.

“And it should surprise no one that while we aren’t closing any tax loopholes in the Republican budget, and while we are increasing the taxes for middle class Americans, this Republican budget excludes things that we should do.

“We could right now through this budget, move to increase the economy’s capacity, increase the number of jobs, and decrease our deficits by finally fixing our broken immigration system. Our Democratic budget does that, the Republican budget doesn’t and as a result, we give up, through the Republican budget, an opportunity to reduce our deficits by close to a trillion dollars over the next couple of decades.

“We give up the opportunity to create close to three and a half million jobs, over the next 10 to 20 years by doing immigration reform and we give up the chance to strengthen Social Security by doing immigration reform; the Democratic budget makes those investments.

“The Democratic budget actually invests in early childhood education; the Democratic budget makes it possible for more families, middle class families, to afford to send their kids to college. The Democratic budget makes those investments because we do close corporate tax loopholes, we do go after those who are evading paying their fair share of taxes. And we can make those investments in early childhood education, in fixing our broken immigration system, in investing on our roads and bridges, because we go after those who are evading paying their taxes.

“We can do that, but again I remind you this is a budget being presented on the floor from our colleagues on the other side that actually puts brainless autopilot cuts under sequester on autopilot and we need to defeat that. I yield back the balance of my time.”