Boyle Opening Statement at Hearing on President Biden’s FY24 Budget with OMB Director Young
WASHINGTON, DC —Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, gave the following opening statement at today's hearing on The President's Fiscal Year 2024 Budget with OMB Director Shalanda Young.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you, Director Shalanda Young. It's great to have you back in front of our committee. What a difference two years and two months make. Under President Biden and Congressional Democrats' leadership, we have rolled out vaccines and testing, seen a record 12 million new jobs, unemployment at 50 year plus lows and have had the strongest manufacturing recovery in this century.
Democrats have proven that Congress can deliver for the American people while promoting fiscal responsibility: from galvanizing a record-breaking and world-leading recovery from the COVID pandemic, to rebuilding our infrastructure, to making major investments in America’s economic competitiveness, to passing legislation to reduce the deficit while lowering costs for American families.
President Biden’s 2024 budget is exactly the plan we need to build on this progress — and how proud I was to be with the President in my District in Philadelphia two weeks ago today when he unveiled this budget.
One that lowers families’ costs — on everything from child care to prescription drugs, housing to health care. It upholds the promise of Social Security and strengthens Medicare for another generation. It invests in America, in red and blue states, strengthening our communities and our economy. And it makes common sense reforms so that the wealthiest few and big corporations finally start to pay their fair share in taxes — just like the rest of us. Because it is damn unfair that a teacher or a firefighter in my neighborhood in Northeast Philadelphia pays a higher percentage of their paycheck in taxes than a billionaire.
This budget sets our next generation for success by investing in their education: from universal pre-k to making college more affordable. It restores the full Child Tax Credit we passed as part of the American Rescue Plan — and when it was in place, that full Child Tax Credit cut poverty in half. It caps the cost of insulin at $35 for everyone and lowers the cost of other prescription drugs, saving Americans — and the government — money. Importantly, the Biden Budget accomplishes all of this and more while making sure that no one who makes less than $400,000 a year pays a penny more in new taxes.
These investments are socially responsible, but they’re also fiscally responsible. They will put our nation on better financial footing — reducing the deficit by $3 trillion — without taking a sledgehammer to the vital programs that keep our nation, and American households, secure.
Now that brings me to my next point. I am deeply concerned by the extreme budget proposals that we are hearing from the other side of the aisle. Now while we wait for the official Republican budget, we do know there have been other proposals that have been out there, most recently made by the House Freedom Caucus. One idea that seems to be gaining traction with many Republicans is cutting spending to Fiscal Year 2022 levels. Let me just take a moment to explain what that would mean: 2 million Americans would lose access to health care services through Community Health Centers and more would see their health care costs rise. 640,000 families would lose the rental assistance that helps them stay in their homes. Rail safety jobs would be cut, dramatically reducing inspections. Thousands of police officers, border security agents, and other law enforcement officials will lose pay – or worse — their jobs. And those are just a few examples!
An analysis by Moody’s Analytics found cutting spending to FY22 levels would push our economy into a recession, wiping out 2.6 million jobs and driving unemployment up to nearly 6 percent. You can’t take an axe to the federal budget and then turn a blind eye to the people who suffer the blow.
There is a human cost to budget cuts, and I am concerned that sometimes gets lost in this town.The President’s budget lays out Democrats’ plan — and our math — to achieve $3 trillion in deficit reduction while making needed investments to improve Americans' quality of life. It’s all here for the public to see, and yes, critique.
I would ask my Republican colleagues: when will we see your plan? What are you actually proposing that would help working families like my neighbors in Philadelphia? And how can you be so quick to dismiss the President’s budget when we’ve yet to see your own?
As we await the Republicans' proposal and markup, I’m glad that we can have this honest and fair hearing and openly debate what is in the President’s budget. It is a fiscally responsible and pro-growth document, and Director Young, thank you for being here to talk about this budget today.