Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor ahead of President Biden releasing his budget proposal for 2024 while House Republicans continue to withhold their budget plan from Americans. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
This Thursday, President Biden will release the third budget proposal of his presidency, one of the most important chances all year to emphasize the contrast between Democrats’ and Republicans’ vision for the country.
When Americans see President Biden’s budget proposal, and compare it to the nasty plans coming from Republicans, the contrast will be glaring and unmistakable.
First, President Biden’s budget will focus on creating opportunity for average Americans. He’ll keep his promise not to raise taxes for anyone making less than $400,000 a year. He will show how Democrats will keep Medicare solvent for another two decades. And he’ll lay out a plan—a realistic, serious plan—for lowering the deficit by $2 trillion over the next ten years.
Republicans love to talk about cutting the deficit, but Democrats have actually done it: the Inflation Reduction Act lowered the deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars. And we cut the deficit while also cutting prescription drug costs and expanding tax credits for millions of middle class families.
Now, compare President Biden’s budget to the nasty vision laid out by our Republican friends.
While the President’s budget will keep taxes and costs low for the vast majority of families, Republicans went on record wanting to raise taxes by 30% for millions of Americans through their recent national sales tax proposal.
While the President promised no new taxes for people making under $400,000, the very first bill House Republicans passed helped rich tax cheats get away with paying little or nothing in taxes.
And while President Biden and Democrats have been clear Social Security and Medicare are not on the table, Republicans have proposed raising the retirement age and privatizing certain elements of Medicare. The result: fewer benefits for retirees, higher premiums for Medicare beneficiaries.
We cannot overlook the threat Republicans also pose to Medicaid, which tens of millions of middle class Americans rely on to ease the burden of paying for nursing homes and assisted living. Democrats want to preserve and strengthen Medicaid, but Republican proposals would cut Medicaid by $2.2 trillion and end coverage for millions of Americans. The average middle class family—let’s say they’re 40-50 years old—they’re worried about paying for the kid’s college, but they also have a parent in a nursing home. Right now, Medicaid would pay for it if the parent doesn’t have the resources. These cuts—that burden—will fall on tens of millions of American families in the prime of life.
Finally, the President will make clear that in order to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and to lower the deficit responsibly, the ultra-rich must pay their fair share.
There is no conceivable scenario where wealthy CEOs should ever pay a lower rate than nurses and teachers and firefighters, but that’s precisely how Republicans preferred it when they cut taxes for the ultra-rich under Donald Trump. It’s as if Republicans care more about making sure the rich stay rich than they do about building ladders to the middle class, than they do about keeping middle class people in that position.
Now, when President Biden called out Republicans for targeting Social Security and Medicare, they erupted with feigned outrage during his State of the Union. But to this day, Speaker McCarthy and House Republican leadership have failed to present their own plan to the American people.
Speaker McCarthy—it is now March 6th—where is your plan? Speaker McCarthy, where is your plan? The President is about to release his budget, are you going to release yours anytime soon?
Enough with the dodging, enough with the excuses. Show us your plan! And then show us how it’s going to get 218 votes on your side of the aisle.
Americans deserve to see for themselves what Democrats and Republicans propose for the future of the country. Republicans should come clean with the American people about what cuts they’re pushing, and explain how those cuts will cause unnecessary pain for millions of Americans across the country.