Boyle Opening Statement at Hearing on “Removing the Burdens of Government Overreach”
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, delivered opening remarks at a Budget Committee hearing on “Removing the Burdens of Government Overreach.”
Ranking Member Boyle’s remarks as prepared for delivery:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m pleased to be here to discuss economic growth but the elephant in the room is the fact that we are just eight days away from defaulting on our debt for the first time in history. There is no greater threat to American prosperity or our economic future than the devastating consequences of Republicans’ self-inflicted default.
If my Republican colleagues were truly interested in protecting economic growth and American prosperity, they would get out of their own way. They would not be threatening to crater our economy with a manufactured crisis of their own making. They would not be threatening to kill 7 million American jobs, double the unemployment rate, destabilize our national security, and erase trillions in household wealth and retirement savings.
The biggest impediment to America’s economic prosperity at this very moment is Republican brinkmanship.
Right now, House Republicans are using the threat of default to demand crippling cuts that will make it even harder for our government to protect and serve American families. These cuts will undermine vital programs and prevent the government from enforcing existing safeguards, hurting the health and safety of Americans. For example, the cuts in Republicans’ Default on America Act would eliminate over 10,000 rail safety inspections across over 44,000 miles of track – enough to cross the United States over a dozen times. Republicans’ cuts would also mean shutting down hundreds of air traffic control towers, undermining border security, and laying off law enforcement officials across the country.
In addition to cruel cuts, House Republicans also slipped their so-called “REINS Act” into the Default on America Act, giving them unparalleled control over everything from food safety to health care.
And at the same time Republicans are eviscerating the vital programs and protections that serve American families, they’re making it easier for the rich to cheat on their taxes.
This isn’t an agenda to unleash American prosperity, it’s an agenda to unleash corporate greed.
Removing these safeguards will help special interests and big corporations put profits over people. It will increase the number of scams preying on our seniors, the number of unsafe products hurting our kids, and the amount of pollution threatening the health of our planet.
Nowhere is this plot more apparent than in Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act. We know these responsible, pro-growth investments will grow our economy and improve Americans’ quality of life. But Republicans would rather pollute our communities and help corporate CEOs line their pockets.
Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, over 140,000 new jobs in clean energy and manufacturing have been announced across the country.
But while Republicans may show up to the ribbon-cutting ceremonies in their district for these new factories and projects, they’re working to repeal this landmark economic and environmental achievement here in D.C.
Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act doesn’t help the American workers who need these good-paying local jobs. It doesn’t help the communities who would be forced to breathe more polluted air. And it certainly doesn’t help the children who would be forced to grow up on a warmer, less habitable planet.
The clean energy economy is the future, and we all know it. Repealing these investments doesn’t mean we won’t be using solar power and driving electric cars. It means we’ll be using Chinese solar panels and driving German electric cars.
Repealing the Inflation Reduction Act and gutting bedrock environmental safeguards would sacrifice American jobs, our children’s health, and the livability of our planet just so Big Oil CEOs can take home bigger bonuses.
Working families in my district don’t need Republicans making it easier for corporations and special interests to take advantage of them. And they certainly don’t need a MAGA-manufactured default that wipes out their retirement savings, kills millions of jobs, and crashes our economy. They need affordable health care, the security provided by a union, a livable planet for their children, and more opportunities to thrive.
That’s how we deliver real economic prosperity and opportunity.
Before I close, I’d be remiss to not take the opportunity to invite my Republican colleagues on the Committee to sign my discharge petition to force a vote on legislation to raise the debt ceiling and end this crisis now, before the real economic fallout begins. As long as the debt limit exists in its current form, there is a direct threat to our entire economy – and Congress is becoming less and less capable of defusing it.
With that, I want to thank our witnesses for being here, and I look forward to your testimony.