Today U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) spoke out against the Republican's latest version of their budget, which she says puts jobs at risk and undermines economic success while further cutting investments in infrastructure, education and research.
See a full transcript below.
Colleagues, this Republican Budget should come with a warning label: American jobs at risk, because the Republican budget will lead to large job losses and harm economic growth just at the time when the economy is improving for so many of our neighbors and businesses back home. But Republicans continue to turn a blind eye to the economic fact that more people working across America and lower unemployment reduce the deficit.
Economists – including the Congressional Budget Office Director Elmendorf, right here in this room – advised that putting Americans back to work is the fastest and most effective way to reduce the debt and deficit. So it is inexplicable that Republicans propose to eliminate jobs in construction, in education, in scientific research and heap the burden on middle class families. This is a very poor reading of the situation that American families are in today, and it’s a capitulation to the Tea Party.
The Republican budget undermines what makes America great, what makes America strong, like education, the ability to attend college, research and development, and clean energy. These are the keys to economic growth and opportunity, but don’t hand those keys to Republicans in Congress because they will just throw them out.
Experts predict that this Republican budget will result in 2 million fewer American jobs next year alone, and that is on top of the 750,000 jobs lost due to the sequester that the Republicans will not replace.
American families and businesses still face headwinds in this economic recovery. Unemployment remains unacceptably high so they have to be scratching their heads on why the Republicans propose a budget that contracts jobs and economic growth.
Here are a few examples: This Republican budget slashes the ability of our students to attend college. It eliminates the Pell grant for over a million students, and provides a harsh squeeze to millions and millions more. We know the key to a good job and an opportunity is that all-important college degree, and yet the Republicans turned a blind eye to the fact that college costs continue to escalate, they’re going to say Pell grants are much harder to come by in America.
Two, the number of new grants and higher-wage jobs, through the National Institutes of Health research, shrink and fade under the Republican budget. This will curtail research in Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and AIDS. I know back home at the University of South Florida, the Moffitt Cancer Center, we rely on those seed dollars for jobs; yes, at the University and at the Cancer Center, but for small businesses that are our partners in growth and innovation.
Number three, you know the heart of American ingenuity over our history has been in manufacturing: the ability to build bridges, roads, railroads, and communities. It attracts private investment. The government dollars that we provide for transportation and infrastructure are multiplied exponentially – it attracts private investment. Yet, in the face of America’s desire right now to build and America’s desire to grow, Republicans cut such investments by 32 percent.
Colleagues, the Republican budget is not consistent with American values. It is not fiscally responsibly. It puts American jobs at risk. It ignores the fact that job creation and economic growth are the most effective ways to reduce the debt and the deficit. It is a plan for economic weakness. It is a receding vision of American greatness in education, scientific research and infrastructure. It is poor public policy and a harsh vision for our great country. I yield back to my colleague.