CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2016
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the underlying Republican budget for fiscal year 2016, and I also rise to commend the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Van Hollen) for his strong opposition.
Mr. Chairman, this budget is not a serious plan. It contains trillions of dollars in tax cuts, but it doesn't show a dime's worth of tax increases when they say it is going to be revenue neutral. It includes trillions of dollars in unspecified cuts that will not be made. For example, are we really going to repeal Medicare as we know it?
If you actually believe that the Republican majority will carry out this plan, it would actually devastate our economy by balancing the budget on the backs of students, workers, seniors, the disabled, and vulnerable communities across the Nation.
The Republican budget assumes that sequestration cuts will be enacted and then adds an additional $759 billion in nondefense discretionary spending cuts. That is the part of the budget that invests in education, workforce training, scientific research, transportation, and infrastructure.
With those cuts, the budget would be funded at 40 percent below the lowest level in the last 50 years as a percentage of GDP. Those cuts will not be made, but if they are, that would be devastating.
As the ranking member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, I am particularly concerned about the cuts in education. Education funding would be cut by $103 billion over 10 years. That is a 22 percent cut in Federal aid to teachers, principals, school districts, colleges, and universities.
That will include significant cuts in title I funding, resources that go to areas of high poverty school districts. It would cut the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which supports educational services and resources for students with disabilities, and there would be significant cuts to Head Start. College students are having trouble paying for tuition, room, and board. Well, this budget cuts Pell grants.
In the area of job training and employment services, the budget would result in 2 million fewer workers receiving critical support and does nothing to help the long-term unemployed get back into the workforce.
Mr. Chairman, the Republican budget sends students, families, and workers down the wrong path at this important crossroad. We need a strong budget that reflects the values of all Americans and makes the necessary investments in programs that we know will expand the economy for all.
The Republican budget fails to do this and, therefore, should be rejected.