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I’m very proud of the Democratic effort to replace the dangerous sequestration budget with one that prioritizes targeted cuts and investments in our social programs. We’ve proposed to simplify the tax code and close tax loopholes that allow big corporations to not pay their fair share for the benefits we give them.
My proposed budget builds upon these great goals and simply ensures that as we continue to protect and care for America’s seniors, who have worked hard and given so much to the prosperity of this country. We made a promise to these seniors, and we shouldn't go back on these promises by imposing additional costs on them.
While I have the utmost personal respect for my Republican counterparts, I am profoundly disappointed in the budget plan they have created. In these difficult economic times, the American public is looking for a new path forward. The path we have been on over the past several years, and the path that my esteemed Republican colleagues have chosen to continue down, is simply not good enough.
We in the Democratic caucus have made the tough choices necessary to forge a new way through a moderate and responsible budget. We have closed loopholes to make our tax code simpler and fairer. We have replaced dangerous sequestration budget slashing with targeted and responsible cuts, while continuing to invest in the strength of both our social and defense programs. We have made sacrifices in order to reduce the deficit and put our country on the road to financial recovery.
The Republican budget is unfortunately little more than political grandstanding. It refuses to face the need for tax reform, laying the government’s fiscal burden on the poor and the middle class instead by cutting crucial social programs to the bone. This kind of irresponsible far-right posturing leaves no room for compromise or negotiation. At a time when Americans are saying in growing numbers that they are tired of crisis-to-crisis governance and partisan deadlock, Republicans have offered up the same old partisan politics.
The Obama Administration has further clarified the logistics of the troop withdrawal in Iraq and Afghanistan. In order to reflect the most up to date information, the Senate Democrats will be adjusting the oversea contingencies assumptions that will be released in an updated budget today. Our caucus realizes that nothing is more important than our national security and want to honor our troops at all times.
Senate Democratic Budget: An Investment in America's Future
November 16, 2013
Senate Democrats released a budget proposal to end sequestration, reduce the deficit, and invest in middle class Americans. With the economy still recovering, Americans cannot afford the senseless, arbitrary cuts of sequestration. Our budget restores funding in areas critical to future economic growth and prosperity, including education, infrastructure, and research. It also reduces the deficit by $1.2 trillion over ten years, by cutting spending strategically in ways that will incentivize government efficiency, reduce long-term health care costs, and simplify the corporate and income tax codes. This long-term deficit reduction demonstrates our commitment to fiscal responsibility and significantly improves our nation's long-term economic outlook.
The Senate budget cuts taxes for the majority of Americans, closes corporate tax loopholes, and reduces corporate tax rates to boost our economy, strengthen the middle class, and increase our global competitiveness. In the short run, the budget accelerates proposed tax cuts, providing Americans with a net estimated $315 billion in tax cuts. These changes will put money back in the pockets of hard working Americans, encouraging consumer spending and ultimately a stronger economy. Over the long-term, we phase out these accelerations while still maintaining lower statutory tax rates. These changes will continue to stimulate the economy so we see more robust growth over the next decade.
Over the next ten years, health care costs in our nation are expected to rise dramatically, destabilizing our ability to provide seniors and disabled Americans with high-quality health care. This plan increases the overall, long-term sustainability of two of our nation’s most important social safety net programs: Medicare and Medicaid, while also reducing long-term costs associated with the provision of health care.
By restoring defense spending from the dangerous across the board cuts of sequestration, we make a strong investment in our nation's security.
With this budget, Senate Democrats continue to demonstrate our commitment to the American people and to our future.
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New Statement by Senator Harry Reid
Leading Senate Democrats were hard at work over the long weekend drafting a budget to replace sequestration's mindless and dangerous deep spending cuts.
Our plan will create a surplus over the next ten years without raising taxes on working families, by pursuing reasonable, common-sense, good governance. We will simplify the tax code and close corporate loopholes, promoting investment in America rather than sending profits and jobs overseas. We will not increase corporate or income taxes for anyone but the top earners. The wealthiest Americans want to do their part to protect our nation's economy, rather than sticking middle-class Americans with the bill. We will continue to uphold the promise of American opportunity and progress through investment in infrastructure, education, and sustainability, all without increasing the deficit.
Balancing the budget should not mean slashing social programs. It should not mean abandoning those most in need of help or maintaining a system designed to make sure the wealthiest keep winning big and those who are struggling keep losing.
The American people deserve better than this destructive cycle of deadlock and crisis-to-crisis governance. With this budget, we pledge to be the elected officials the people of this great country deserve. It’s not about political winners and losers: it’s about doing right by the American people.