Merkley Statement on Ryan Plan

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley issued the following statement after the House Republicans, led by House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan, released their budget for fiscal year 2014. 

“As we lay out our economic policy ideas in a budget, the top priority needs to be helping the middle class families in Oregon and across the country, so many of whom are currently struggling to make ends meet.  Unfortunately, the House Republicans are offering up another warmed-over plan to have the middle class, the vulnerable, and our children foot the bill so the very wealthy and well-connected special interests can feather their nests at taxpayer expense.                                                          

“The Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it, take the cops off the Wall Street beat, throw more than 30 million people off of health insurance, and cut food stamps for our most vulnerable.  There would be less money for schools, less money for medical research, and less money to build roads and bridges.  What do the American people get for these sacrifices?  Trillions of tax cuts for the best-off individuals and the biggest corporations. 

“We need a budget that reflects our values as a nation. We need a budget that makes key investments in education and infrastructure, which are so essential to economic growth, and makes targeted cuts to programs we no longer need or that can become more efficient. Let’s end the war in Afghanistan, and use those savings to bring down our deficit and create jobs. Let’s protect the benefits our seniors have earned and protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  And let’s take on the runaway spending in our tax code that mostly benefits the wealthy and well-connected. 

“Bottom line: the Ryan budget is great if you are a millionaire or billionaire, an oil company or a company that ships jobs overseas. However, it doesn’t make much sense for Oregon families.  This failed approach has eroded the middle class and brought us the worst recession in 75 years.  America rightly rejected this vision in November.  We can do better.”