Capps on the Republican budget
March 21, 2012
STATEMENT By CONGRESSWOMAN LOIS CAPPS
The House Republican budget is a disappointing, but not too surprising proposal. Instead of reforming programs that protect our most vulnerable, their plan would end or dismantle critical investments in our children, families, and seniors in order to give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.
This plan was soundly rejected by the American people last year and they’ll do it again this year, because it breaks the promise our government has made to its seniors and persons with disabilities. Medicare has improved the quality of life and care for millions of Americans—especially women. To dismantle it and replace it with a system that puts seniors at the mercy of insurance companies just won’t work and could have disastrous consequences for our nation.
This is a sharp contrast from the benefits that seniors have already received from the Affordable Care Act or health reform law including prescription drug discounts and free preventive screenings. The Republican budget plan doesn’t stop at cutting programs for seniors and persons with disabilities. It also would cripple nutrition programs and turn Medicaid into a block grant, reducing support for seniors in nursing homes, low-income children, and Americans with disabilities while increasing the financial burden on our cash-strapped states.
To be clear, these proposals do nothing to reduce health care costs. They simply shift the weight of our most challenging budget problems onto states and the elderly.
Finally, the House Republican budget fails to find savings where it can find it most. It does nothing to root out waste in our tax system—like the tens of billions in subsidies for oil and gas coal companies or those that go to giant ethanol corporations. And it asks very little of our most fortunate citizens, while demanding draconian cuts to education and research, public health programs, clean energy, and transportation upgrades.
These are not my priorities. My priorities are making smart investments that create jobs and strengthen American competitiveness. My priorities are to reduce the deficit by avoiding wasteful and unnecessary spending, not by cutting programs that keep our communities afloat. The American people want an honest and fair plan that helps protect our fragile economic recovery and addresses our budget problems. This Congress should do just that.