Merkley: President’s Budget Proposal Opens Doors of Opportunity; Builds on Successes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after President Joe Biden released his administration’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2024:

“This budget is a strong blueprint for opening doors of opportunity to everyone – no matter where they live, what they look like, or what stage of life they are in. I hold a town hall in every Oregon county, every year, and what I’m hearing this year is Oregonians are really concerned about greater investments in child care, affordable housing, and mental health care. This budget delivers on those priorities and more.

“The President’s budget shows the contrasting values that will be on display in our nation’s capital this year. As we push for investments that make a real difference in people’s lives, Republicans in the House are pushing for giveaways for billionaires and a 30% across the board tax on everything working Americans buy. The billionators in the House—those members who are fighting to make billionaires even richer—want to force middle class Americans to pay a $100,000 tax on buying a home and a $10,000 tax on buying a car. I don’t know what world they’re living in, but it’s not the world inhabited by working Oregonians.

“As Congress confronts the debt ceiling crisis, we can’t let the credit of the United States be taken hostage. The administration’s budget proposal confirms we can responsibly lower the debt by asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share in taxes, while strengthening – not cutting – benefits that millions of people rely on.

“This budget proposal would have a real-life impact on millions of working families by restoring the expanded Child Tax Credit, cutting child-care costs, and funding free preschool. In contrast, the MAGA Republicans threatened risks of default on the debt ceiling could mean devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare; higher interest rates for mortgages, car loans, or student loans; and an economic crash that could devastate working families. After today, it’s clear that Democrats have a people-centered plan to reduce the deficit that prioritizes working- and middle-class Americans over the demands of the ultra-wealthy. The question is, as the debt ceiling decision approaches: Do Republicans have any plan at all?”

Merkley – along with Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) – has proposed the Protect our CREDIT Act which would change how the debt ceiling is raised, enabling the executive branch to initiate a process to raise the debt ceiling subject to a congressional override.