Karen Bass

Response to 2012 GOP Budget - April 5, 2011

Karen Bass
April 05, 2011— Washington, DC
Press conference
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Just like the road map to American's future, the Republican path to prosperity is a pathway to despair. The Republicans are concerned about kicking the can down the road, but they have no problem kicking seniors and children to the curb.

The sixty-page document that we received today is an ideological statement that ironically captures democratic language and gives lip service to democratic values while covering up a radical agenda that would dramatically alter the quality of life for many working families. The America they paint with their budget proposal is a country we wouldn't recognize. I really look forward to the details of the Republican plan.

What we need is a balanced approach that speaker after speaker at the budget committee said we must to address the deficit through a balanced approach. In their proposal, they propose no revenue. They only propose cuts and schemes.

Giving lip service to democratic values and language, I want to give a couple of examples.

They talk about ending corporate welfare. I thought that was pretty ironic, and then there are a couple of examples for how they want to end corporate welfare is to revisit the financial reform regulation. They want to privatize Fanny and Freddie, and they want to lift moratoriums on oil drilling. This is the way you end corporate welfare.

They want to protect the safety net by massively cutting Medicaid and having vouchers for Medicare. It's not enough to say that if you're over 55 you're protected, thank you, I know that I'm protected now. But the concern is about the future, but yet the Republicans would leave future generations without the resources for healthcare, which ultimately in Medicaid would result in a 35 percent cut. Over half the users of Medicaid are children. Seniors use Medicaid to pay for expenses that Medicare doesn't cover, that's why I said the Republicans are willing to kick seniors and children to the curb while expressing concern for kicking the can down the road. Many governors have already weighed in on this proposal and are objecting to the way they're talking about reforming Medicaid. States should not be left to decide which populations are services to cover under the guise of having flexibility for the states. If you look at it down the line, it really just results in a cut, a significant cut to Medicaid.

I do have to hand it to my Republican colleagues because maybe the way they attempt to capture our language and give lip service to our values, I think we should spend some time explaining what those terms mean. Corporate welfare, concern about the safety net is very transparent to think that you can use language to hide a very radical agenda and trick people into believing that the pathway to prosperity is not a pathway to despair. Their way that they are talking about Medicare and Medicaid forces seniors out of the system and into private insurance, and leaves children and the disabled without the safety net. Thank you very much.

Speech taken from http://bass.house.gov/video/us-rep-karen-bass-responds-republicans-budget-proposal