Senate Democrats

Senate Floor Roundup: Democrats Pass a Budget

Last November, Americans called for an end to the Republicans’ irresponsible management of tax-payer dollars. The Democrats’ budget answers this call. It returns fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C. and invests in America’s real priorities. Today, on the Senate Floor, Democrats hailed the return of responsible budgeting to our Nation’s Capital. Below are a few of their comments:

Senator Murray:

“Every family knows the importance of balancing their checkbooks and paying their bills. They expect the federal government to be responsible with money, too. Unfortunately, for years, Republicans failed to manage tax-payer dollars. Year after year they produced some of the largest debts this country has ever seen. Our budget says no more. Our plan includes strong pay-as-you-go rules. This means we’re being responsible today – and not burdening our grandchildren with future debt.”

“I’m especially proud of the attention this budget pays to our veterans when they return home. From veterans struggling to get mental healthcare or facing month and year long waits for benefit checks, to a lack of focus on TBI care, it is clear the President has not adequately funded veterans’ programs. Our budget reverses this and provides $43.1 billion for fixing these problems. Our budget also rejects the President’s proposal to impose new fees and higher drug co-payments on certain veterans. This would have forced more than 100,000 veterans to leave the VA health care system. This is not in-line with the promise made to our heroes. Our budget restores this promise and pays honor to those who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.”

Senator Stabenow:

“We have focused on returning to fiscal responsibility. We have put into place something that’s called pay-as-you-go. At my house it was just called common sense, paying the bills, not spending more than you have coming in. That process has been put back into place so that we can, in fact, balance the budget and return to fiscal responsibility”

“Secondly, we are putting middle class families first. Throughout this budget — whether it be tax cuts, whether it be investments in education, whether it be health care for our children, making sure that we reinstate law enforcement, whether we are fully funding the military, homeland security — we are focusing on Americans and middle-class families, the folks that are working hard every day that have been saying, what about us?”

Senator Menendez:

“This budget accomplishes what we set out to achieve at the outset of this Congress. It fulfills our responsibility in key priorities such as children’s health care, education, and veterans’ services. It sets us on a strong fiscal path, balancing in five years and achieving a surplus in 2012. And it allows for key tax relief for middle-class families.”

“This budget is a significant departure from the debt-drenched plans we have seen from the President and Republicans year after year. This budget ends an era of dumping the fiscal burden on our children, our schools and our veterans, and instead of undermining education, abdicating our responsibilities in health care, neglecting our veterans, this budget restores a commonsense balance to our values that we should expect from the greatest nation in the world.”

Senator Dorgan:

“Now, the President sends us a proposal and says here are my priorities. Let’s propose spending in a way that loses ground on the issue of funding the National Institutes of Health and making investments in needed cancer research and research in other dread diseases, let’s cut back on Head Start relative to the money that’s needed to continue Head Start for these young kids, let’s decide that energy efficiency and renewable energy is not as important. These are priorities from the President’s Budget. And I could go on at some great length. I disagree with that. I think many of these things represent investments in the country’s future…”

“And it’s interesting with respect to the revenue stream into this country, if we closed down some of these tax shelters, the result would be increased revenues for the federal government and a requirement that those who benefit from the opportunities of being an American company, the requirement that they would start paying taxes.”

Senator Wyden:

“Everybody ought to have the chance to get ahead. We could do that with a tax reform program that is fair to all. This budget allows it, and it allows for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a bipartisan approach to guarantee health care for all Americans as well.”