Angry words flew hot and heavy today as the House voted 219-205 to pass a Republican-drafted budget that promises balance within a decade by making sweeping cuts throughout government and eliminating health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The nonbinding framework isn’t likely to be followed up by specific spending legislation, as it’s DOA in the Democrat-controlled Senate. But that didn’t stop critics from emptying their rhetorical cannons today.
From House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco:
“For the fourth consecutive year, House Democrats have stood united against Republicans’ broken budget priorities. But House Republicans have now fully embraced the destructive values of the Ryan Republican Budget – a road to economic ruin and an irresponsible assault on seniors, students, women, families and our future.
“Today, Republicans voted to raise taxes on middle class families with children, while giving $200,000-plus tax breaks to millionaires. They voted to destroy three million jobs over two years, while protecting tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas. They voted to end the Medicare guarantee for our seniors, ransack the education of our children, and surrender our global economic competitiveness. With this budget, Republicans have voted to hollow out the middle class and dismantle the American Dream.
“Democrats have a better plan: create jobs, strengthen the middle class, invest in the future, reduce the deficit, and build an economy that works for everyone. We should be renewing emergency unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, and passing comprehensive immigration reform that will grow our economy, empower small business, spur innovation, and reduce the deficit by nearly $900 billion. Republicans’ backwards priorities are the wrong path for our nation, and unworthy of the American people.”
From House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio:
“This document is our vision for getting Americans back to work and our budget back in balance. I want to congratulate Chairman Ryan and the members of the committee for a job well done.”
From Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Modesto:
“My focus is on finding long-term solutions to reduce the unbearable burden of debt we have placed on future generations. Right now we are more than $17 trillion in debt, meaning each man, woman and child is responsible for over $55,000 each. The out-of-control spending must be stopped and replaced with responsible choices that give real solutions and certainty to families in the Central Valley.
“I will also keep up the fight to protect our seniors, who have seen their Medicare plans cut by more than $300 billion under the Affordable Care Act. Because of the cuts, I introduced the Seniors’ Right to Know Act, which informs the more than 14 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage nationwide about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting the healthcare plans they rely on every day. We cannot allow the healthcare law to stand in the way of us keeping our promise to our seniors.”
More, after the jump:
From Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:
“I rise in very strong support of the Democratic Alternative to the disastrous Republican Budget.
“Our Democratic alternative closes tax loopholes and makes smart investments in policies and programs to create jobs, cut poverty, and grow the economy for all.
“The Democratic Alternative Budget raises the minimum wage to $10.10, which would lift nearly 1 million Americans out of poverty.
“It also expands the Earned Income Tax Credit, and for the millions of Americans still struggling to find a job, it extends the critical lifeline of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which House Republicans have refused to consider. Our alternative protects Medicare, eliminates the sequester, and includes comprehensive immigration reform, which the Congressional Budget Office says will lower our deficit by $900 billion.
“Finally Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that some of my Republican colleagues have shown interest in cutting poverty in this country; however, we have starkly different opinions on how we achieve that goal.
“Gutting programs is not a path out of poverty! The American people deserve a fighting chance for a middle class life. They deserve better than this Republican budget.”
From Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa:
“This reckless spending plan will kill jobs, end the guarantee of Medicare for America’s seniors, raises taxes on middle-class families while rewarding the wealthy and corporations that ship jobs overseas, gut our education system and make college more expensive for hard working families. The American people deserve a better path forward – one that shrinks our deficit and strengthens our middle class by creating jobs, cutting spending and asking everyone to pay their fair share. I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass a responsible budget that grows our economy and gets our fiscal house in order.”
From White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
“Today’s vote illustrates once again that the House Republicans’ view of the economy is a top-down approach that cuts taxes for millionaires and could raise taxes on middle class families with kids by an average of at least $2,000.
“If the budget the House Republicans voted for today was enacted and its deep cuts compared to what the President has proposed fell across the board, within a few years, more than 1.1 million people could lose access to job training and employment services, more than 600,000 students could lose Pell Grants that help pay for college, and approximately 170,000 children could lose access to early-childhood education. Critical investments in our roads and bridges and scientific research to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s also could see drastic cuts. And rather than expanding health coverage for all Americans and making it more affordable, the House Republican Budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act, raising health care costs on families and businesses and eliminating coverage for millions.
“The President believes we need to grow the economy from the middle-out, not the top down, and expand opportunity for all hardworking Americans. Rather than once again putting forward a top-down approach, House Republicans should join the President and Democrats in taking steps that would strengthen the economy and create opportunity, like raising the minimum wage, extending emergency unemployment insurance, advancing paycheck fairness, and passing bipartisan immigration reform.”