Larsen: Budget Should Reflect Shared Value of Opportunity for All
Washington, DC, April 10, 2014
Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, released the following statement today after voting against the Republican budget.
“Our country’s budget should reflect our shared value of opportunity for all. This value is nowhere to be found in the Republican spending plan. Rather than a blueprint for economic growth, the Republican budget would jeopardize health care for seniors, bankrupt America’s transportation system, and cut education funding for low- and middle-income students.
“At the beginning of each year I set goals for myself and my office. My number one goal is to invest in the foundation of long-term economic growth that creates jobs and opportunity in the Pacific Northwest. When I look at the Republican budget, I see a plan that undermines our seniors, our students and our economy.
“My constituents have asked me to protect the guaranteed Medicare benefit to make sure seniors today and in the future have access to high-quality care. I voted today in their favor by saying no to the Republican plan that slashes seniors’ health coverage.
“I recognize the need to control costs. We can do this through cutting fraud and abuse, not health coverage for seniors. For every $1 spent on recovering taxpayer dollars from Medicare fraud between 2010 and 2013, taxpayers got back $8.10. These are worthwhile efforts to reduce Medicare costs, rather than depriving seniors of guaranteed health coverage as the Republicans propose.
“The Republican budget plan to repeal the ACA is another blow to our country’s health. But Americans have made their choice in favor of health care and now it is time to move forward with quality, affordable health coverage that focuses on value over volume.
“Keeping the Northwest economy growing requires safe and accessible roads, highways, ferries and bridges. Republicans do not seem to understand that bankrupting our transportation system, as their budget does, will leave states like ours unable to compete in an increasingly globalized economy. Investing in transportation creates jobs and keeps our economy moving by relieving congestion, improving safety and spurring growth in our communities. Our goal should be to maintain our infrastructure until it is old and then replace it. I have steadfastly supported many critical infrastructure projects including the SAFE Bridges Act and efforts to put the Highway Trust Fund on a sustainable path.
“I am deeply disappointed the Republicans do not see the value of investing in higher education for low- and middle-income students. Their cuts to Pell Grants and proposal to eliminate funding for national community service programs severely diminish opportunities for students to pursue education and service after high school. Pell Grants are helping nearly 13,000 students and families in my district this school year. And community service gives all students an opportunity both to learn and share their skills to building stronger communities. I strongly support investments in today’s students, especially those who could not otherwise afford higher education, to develop strong workers for tomorrow.
“The Republicans continue to push a plan that completely undermines our ability to create economic opportunity for all in the Pacific Northwest. My vote against this budget is a vote in favor of ensuring access to health care for all, keeping our roads and bridges safe, and investing in our young people.”