Boyle Opening Statement at “Exposing the Woke, Wasteful, and Bloated Bureaucracy” Hearing

May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, delivered opening remarks at a Budget Committee hearing on “Exposing the Woke, Wasteful, and Bloated Bureaucracy.”


(Click for video of remarks as delivered.)

Ranking Member Boyle’s remarks as prepared for delivery:


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to our panel of witnesses for being here today.


Usually, Committees hold hearings before the House passes a bill. However, this committee was denied the opportunity to have a legislative hearing and have a markup of the Default on America Act before voting on it. So, we will use today’s hearing to examine Republicans’ ransom note.


The Default on America Act showcases Republicans’ commitment to their misguided three-step playbook: 1) blow up the deficit with tax giveaways to the wealthy and well-connected; 2) wait until there’s a Democrat in the White House to decry the deficits they created; 3) demand big cuts to dismantle and disinvest in the lifeline programs and services that serve working families.


It’s as predictable as it is pernicious. Republicans’ recent rebrand of this scheme is to label anything they don’t like as somehow “woke” to distract from the harm their agenda will cause. But the word has been contorted beyond meaning and is now being used to target the very same communities it was stolen from.


After all, why admit to slashing education and increasing class sizes when you can rile up the base by claiming to go after “wokeness in schools?”


Why admit to cutting popular funding for infrastructure when you can say “you’re defunding the woke Michelle Obama trail?”


Why admit to condemning future generations to higher temperatures and more pollution when you can say “you’re taking on woke climate extremism?”


Why admit to gutting Medicaid and raising health costs when you can say “you’re stopping the woke socialist agenda?”


But no matter what Republicans try to call it, it won’t change the fact that their agenda is extreme, harmful, and unpopular. And the American people are smarter than Republicans give them credit for.


Once their attacks on Social Security and Medicare were exposed, Republicans were forced to retreat. After Americans witnessed 217 House Republicans vote for an immediate $2 billion cut to veterans’ benefits, Republicans are doing damage control.


Now we’re talking about “wokeness” because Republicans fear the American people see their Default on America Act for what it is: a plot to force cruel cuts by threatening default.


Republican cuts will strip food assistance from families and seniors in need — exacerbating food insecurity.


It eliminates preschool and child care for hundreds of thousands of children — undermining our children’s education and worsening the child care crisis.


It forces local governments to lay off teachers, law enforcement officers, and first responders — depriving our communities of vital services.


Moody’s Analytics estimates Republican cuts would result in 780,000 fewer jobs by the end of next year and push our economy toward recession. These cuts do nothing to improve Americans’ quality of life or strengthen our nation — they don’t even achieve Republicans’ stated goal of a balanced budget.


Analysis from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office proves this. Even if Republicans were to eliminate every penny of government spending except Social Security, Medicare, defense, and veterans’ programs, they still could not balance the budget.


But despite the math, Republicans are doubling down on their extreme agenda. Republicans are pushing us to default – killing over 7 million jobs, wiping out over $10 trillion in household wealth, and unleashing a devastating recession – all to force these unpopular and cruel cuts on American families.


If we want to have a real conversation about waste, fraud, and abuse, I’m ready.


Let’s talk about House Republicans’ votes to shower billionaires and big corporations with $2 trillion in wasteful tax giveaways, and then gut the IRS and increase deficits again to help wealthy tax cheats skip out on paying their fair share — while President Biden’s Budget reduces the deficit by $436 billion just by ensuring billionaires pay their fair share.

Let’s talk about House Republicans’ vote for billions of dollars in corporate giveaways to profitable oil companies — while the President’s Budget cuts $30 billion in spending on tax subsidies for the same companies.


Let’s talk about House Republicans’ vote to raise Americans’ health care costs and increase deficits — while the President’s Budget cuts an additional $200 billion in spending by strengthening Medicare’s power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.


Let’s talk about the more than $16 million in PPP loans that Republican Members of Congress had forgiven instead of paying them back – or, in recent news, how a sitting Republican Congressman was charged with unemployment insurance fraud.


Let’s have a real discussion, rather than an attempt to rebrand the same playbook Republicans have been peddling for decades.


With that, I want to thank our witnesses for being here, and I look forward to your testimony.