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Remarks: Yarmuth Leads Democratic Opposition to GOP’s Reckless Budget & Billionaires-First Tax Plan

Oct 26, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as he led the Democratic opposition to the latest GOP budget proposal to shower the wealthy with tax breaks on the backs of hardworking families. Remarks as prepared for delivery.

The bill we are debating today is not a real effort at responsible budgeting. It’s a means to an end.  A single-minded plan to make it easier to enact tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations, regardless of the consequences for everyone else.   

If approved by the House today, an irresponsible $1.5 trillion tax bill will come to the floor in a matter of weeks. It is being rushed because Republicans don’t want the American people to know what’s in it. They don’t want you to find out that it overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy, while increasing taxes on millions of middle class families. 

Rushing through legislation that impacts nearly every American family and business is reckless.  And voting on a bill that re-writes our nation’s tax code a week or two after it is introduced, without any real input from the people who will be impacted, is negligent. But that is what you do when you can’t defend your own policies.  

And there’s a lot of unjustifiable provisions in this budget. On top of massive tax cuts for the rich, it cuts vital national investments, threatening our economic progress and our national security.

It cuts more than $4 trillion in mandatory spending, nearly $2 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid alone.

The enormity of these cuts and the severity of the consequences for American families cannot be overstated. But more cuts will be coming once the Republican tax cuts blow an enormous hole in the budget. We will see attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, nutrition assistance, on important benefits that help American families get ahead.

I know my Republican colleagues desperately want to believe that the tax cuts in their budget will pay for themselves and usher in a new era of economic growth. Or at least they want the American people to believe that.  But the record is clear, this approach has failed time and time again. And now, even though the evidence and experts have concluded that these tax cuts will not create an economic boom, but will instead lead to a higher concentration of wealth among the rich, while dramatically increasing deficits and debt – my Republicans colleagues are trying to do it again.

Everything we do in Congress should be about making the lives of American families better and more secure. We owe them a budget that invests in their future, a tax code that is fair, and a full and honest debate on both. This budget and the tax cuts that will follow are a failure on all fronts. 

I, therefore, urge my Republican colleagues to abandon this dangerous budget, and start addressing the needs and priorities of the American people.