WASHINGTON — Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after Senate Republicans narrowly passed a partisan budget that slashes investment in education, fails to close tax loopholes that ship jobs overseas, and attacks consumer protection and financial reform:
“This budget works for the best off, but it sure doesn’t work for working Americans. This budget does nothing to invest in middle-class priorities, like education and infrastructure, that would grow the economy. Instead, it dramatically cuts investments in Head Start and Pell Grants and makes federal student loans more costly. It asks seniors to pay more for their prescription drugs. And it attacks consumer protection head-on, despite the successes of a consumer protection agency that has returned more than $5 billion to consumers in less than five years.
“You would think that with such tremendous sacrifice being asked of ordinary Americans, this budget would also ask for some sacrifices from the wealthy and well-connected — but you would be wrong. This budget preserves every egregious special-interest tax loophole on the books, down to the one that actually subsidizes the cost of shipping American jobs overseas. And it fails to do anything about a tax code in which the very wealthiest Americans pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class families.
“This budget is a roadmap toward less money in the pockets of middle-class families. It is a roadmap toward greater inequality. In short, it is a roadmap to a place that America does not want to go.”