Scott Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement on H.J. Res. 59, the Bipartisan Budget Act, which establishes overall discretionary spending of $1.012 trillion for fiscal year 2014 and alleviates the sequester for fiscal years 2014 and 2015:
"This budget agreement is another predictable consequence of the fundamental principles of arithmetic after Congress passed an extension of $3.9 trillion in tax cuts at the beginning of the year. As I said on January 1, when Congress passed the 'Fiscal Cliff Deal': 'Responsibly reducing our budget deficit requires making tough, unpopular choices. We didn't do that today since this bill does nothing to reduce our deficit. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill will add $3.9 trillion to our deficit. It does, however, make the task of responsibly reducing our deficit all the more difficult and makes it much more likely that seniors, the disabled, students, and our most vulnerable communities will bear the greatest burden when Congress eventually pays for what we did today.'
"So you cannot pass a tax cut of that magnitude and still attempt to realistically address the deficit without either raising new revenues or deeply cutting Defense, Medicare, Social Security, and other vital government programs. This agreement highlights the reality that it is unlikely that any meaningful new revenue will be possible anytime soon. And so this agreement will continue to limit our ability to make strong and sustained investments in education, transportation and infrastructure, job training, and advanced research and development – all things we know will grow our economy and create jobs.
"I reluctantly support this agreement, because the alternatives are worse. Sequestration and budgetary challenges have already inflicted damage on my constituents – thousands of federal employees were furloughed, too many children were denied access to Head Start, interest on student loans has increased, and construction of a new aircraft carrier was delayed. Even with this agreement, funding challenges in Medicare were only delayed, not solved. But without this agreement, sequestration would inflict serious harm on our economy in 2014, jeopardizing funding for shipbuilding, NASA, and other investments in our future, as well as the social safety net. This agreement falls far short in actually addressing the long-term threat of sequestration and fails to extend emergency unemployment insurance for 1.3 million Americans still looking for work. Unfortunately, there was no better alternative after we started the year with a $3.9 trillion tax cut."
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