WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after Senate Republicans passed their budget blueprint for 2018. The blueprint—which Republicans pushed forward so that they will be able to pass a tax plan on a party-line vote—slashes a trillion and a half dollars from Medicare and Medicaid, and would increase the deficit by a similar amount, all to pay for massive tax giveaways to the wealthiest 1%.
“This budget is obscene. In what world does it make sense to rob trillions from our health care and our national treasury, all to grant a massive windfall to the richest individuals in the world?
“If my colleagues are determined to spend a huge pile of our citizens’ funds, spending them to add zeroes to billionaires’ bank accounts is the wrong choice. How about investing in education? Instead, we could refinance the loans of every American with federally-held student debt to the same low rate enjoyed by big banks, and establish debt-free college at our public universities. How about investing in infrastructure? With trillions of dollars, we could completely overhaul our outdated roads, bridges, water systems, railways, and ports, and put broadband in rural towns across America—putting millions of Americans to work.
“At a time when inequality in America is skyrocketing, the last thing we need is a tax plan that gives a windfall to the powerful and privileged. It’s up to ‘We the People’ to fight back and defeat this destructive and immoral tax plan.”