WASHINGTON – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement on the Senate Republican Budget, which was marked up in the Senate Budget Committee today:
“The question I brought to this debate was, will this be a budget that works for working Americans? Or will it be a budget for the best off? Sadly, today we got our answer, loud and clear.
“Budgets are a very revealing statement of priorities – and this budget leaves middle-class Americans behind at the same time it takes care of Big Oil, the super wealthy, and other special interests. It takes away ordinary families’ health insurance, jacks up their cost of college, and guts their retirement. It fails to invest in infrastructure initiatives to create jobs and repair our crumbling roads and bridges. It even compromises parents’ ability to put food in front of their children during tough times. Yet it doesn’t repeal one egregious tax loophole or ask any sacrifice from the wealthy and well-connected.
“Today, I offered an amendment that simply recognized that student loan debt is skyrocketing and hurting the American dream, and that we should bookmark a place in our agenda this year to take on this growing problem. Eleven of twelve Republicans on the committee refused even to take this basic step to start rebuilding the American dream.
“We can do much better.”