Stabenow Opening Statement on Republican Budget at Committee MarkupWednesday, October 04, 2017
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) delivered opening remarks at a Senate Budget Committee markup of the 2018 Republican budget resolution. The 2018 budget resolution sets the groundwork for Republicans to move forward on their tax reform proposal.
Senator Stabenow’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, may be found below:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman:
“We need tax reform that helps small businesses, closes tax loopholes to create jobs here at home, and puts more money in the pockets of middle-class families in Michigan and across the country.
“And we need an American budget that shows what we value as a country.
“Do we value our children, seniors, and people with disabilities?
“Do we value small-business owners in Pontiac, family farms in South Haven, and Michigan companies that are creating good-paying jobs?
“Do we value our future? Are we helping young people get an education and middle-class families get ahead?
“And are we doing all of this in a responsible way, or adding to the burden of debt our children and grandchildren will have to carry?
“Budgets aren’t sterile numbers on a spreadsheet. Budgets are about people. And this budget and the Republican tax plan suggest the American people are not valued.
“47 million Americans depend on Medicare for their health care. This budget would cut Medicare by $473 billion dollars.
“And low-income children and their parents, seniors in nursing homes and people with disabilities depend on Medicaid. Medicaid would be cut by a trillion dollars in this budget.
“We just went through months of debate and votes to cut health care. Americans overwhelmingly said NO. And the majority of Senators said NO.
“But here we are again…
“I’m also concerned about cuts to agriculture when prices have dropped by 50% and our farmers and ranchers are already doing more with less.
“Agriculture did its part to balance the budget in the 2014 Farm Bill when we saved $100 billion. Over 500 food and farm groups agree: no more cuts to agriculture and food programs.
“However, this budget would target our farmers and ranchers for an additional $21 billion in cuts.
“And that doesn’t even include cuts to nutrition assistance, which puts food on the table for millions of families.
“Meanwhile, some middle-class families would actually see their taxes go up!
“Under the Republican plan, a senior citizen in Saginaw who’s making $20,000 a year would pay more in taxes.
“A married couple with two kids and an income of $70,000 in Gaylord would pay more in taxes.
“And a single mom with three kids in Battle Creek who works really hard and earns $50,000 – which never seems to stretch far enough – would pay $1,000 more in taxes.
“And for what? To cut taxes for the wealthiest 1% among us.
“In fact, 80% of tax cuts would go to the top 1%, and they would receive a tax cut worth $200,000 on average.
“There’s no question we need tax reform.
“We need tax reform that helps small businesses, closes tax loopholes that create jobs here at home, and puts more money in the pockets of middle-class families in Michigan and across the country.
“If the Majority puts forward that proposal, count me in.
“But asking seniors, people with disabilities, and children and families to lose their health care and pay more taxes in order to fund a huge tax cut for the wealthiest Americans while creating mountains of new debt?
“That’s a bad deal for Michigan. And you can count me out.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”
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