May 21, 2008
Floor Statement by Rep. Lewis in Opposition to the Democrats' Budget Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. - House Appropriations Ranking Member, Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) gave the following statement today on the floor of the House in opposition to the Democrats' "bloated" budget resolution:
"Mr. Speaker, I have one – and only one – good thing to say about the Democrat majority’s budget resolution: unlike the only other budget related legislation considered by the House this year, at least it went through the normal committee process. Unfortunately, the committee observing regular order was the Budget Committee, not the Appropriations Committee.
Having looked at this budget in some detail, my advice to working families is simple: “Hold onto your wallet.”
For the first time in history, the proposed discretionary budget will exceed one trillion dollars. This bloated budget blueprint is a clear demonstration that the Democrat majority in Congress is keenly focused on dipping its fingers into your pockets to take more and more of your hard-earned money.
This budget shows that the Democrat majority will raise taxes—without hesitation—to support its addiction to spending. And, it shows that Democrats in Congress are not interested in making difficult choices, setting priorities, or rooting out waste in government spending.
I have called this resolution the Democrats’ “More, More, More Budget.” The Democrats’ want more taxes to pay for more spending. More government to fix more and more of government’s problems. And more rhetoric to cover up more political and policy shortfalls.
The President’s budget requested a $59 billion, or 6.3 percent, increase in discretionary spending over the present fiscal year. Most people would think that a $59 billion increase in spending would be enough. But not this majority. They are proposing a whopping $82 billion, or nine percent, increase over current year levels.
In addition, by failing to make permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, this budget actually increases the tax burden on American citizens by $683 billion over the next five years.
Let me repeat this – the Democrats are INCREASING the tax burden on some of our most vulnerable citizens while our economy stands at the brink of recession. While our constituents struggle to keep up with their mortgages, fill their gas tanks, and pay their rising grocery bills, here’s what the
Democrat’s propose to do:
- Eliminate 6 million low-income Americans from receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit;
- Eliminate the ability of low-income families with one or two children to be eligible for the refundable child tax credit;
- Increase taxes by $1,100 per year on roughly 12 million single women with children;
- Subject about 18 million seniors living on fixed incomes to a tax increase more than $2,100 per year.
As disconcerting as this is, let’s also not lose sight of the fact that this budget ignores the 800-pound gorilla sitting in the corner of the room—entitlement spending.
We can’t afford—literally—to continue to sit back with a blind eye as entitlement programs consume federal dollars like a glutton at an all-you-can-eat buffet. It’s past time to focus our attention on this vast majority of the budget and figure out how to stop the fiscal catastrophes on the horizon.
Mr. Speaker, this irresponsible budget resolution is a shining example of the Democrat majority’s “tax more, spend more, worry about it later” philosophy.
And, appallingly, even in this time of economic uncertainty, the American people can expect that big spenders in Congress are coming to take more of what they earn.
Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge my colleagues to reject the majority’s bloated budget resolution. It’s time to put Uncle Sam on a diet."