tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 25, 2015 4:00am-6:01am EDT
sident? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: throughout the obama era families across the country have had to make a lot of tough decisions. lost jobs or lower wages meant doing more with less and refocusing on what truly mattered. it wasn't easy, but families made the best of difficult situations in order to position themselves for greater success in the better days to come. meanwhile in washington, you saw record levels of overspending, trillion-dollar deficits, historic levels of debt, hardworking families made tough choices while the obama administration and its allies aimed to keep right on overspending. it was more than just wrong. many would say it was unfair. but today democrats can join together with republicans to help rectify the inequity.
instead of having washington play by one set of rules and the middle class by another, we can force washington to start confronting really big challenges just like everyone else has to. we can force washington to focus on serving the middle class again instead of the other way around. and we can begin by passing the balanced budget before the senate today. this balanced budget, mr. president, pivots on an essential truth that washington has a spending problem not a revenue problem and strives to make government more accountable, more efficient and more accessible. it represents a significant step forward when it comes to solving our country's many fiscal challenges. but that's just one reason this balanced budget is so important. here's another. it will help promote economic growth right now and promote sustained opportunity well into
the future. it aims to do so in a variety of ways. one is promoting energy advancement as an engine for growth. the energy revolution is truly historic. it's creating thousands of jobs, lowering costs for the middle class and helping lift many into that middle class. this budget embraces that progress. it aims to remove needless barriers to environmentally responsible energy development and i expect other members to come to the floor to discuss the energy component in greater detail today. i also expect members will come to discuss funding america's national security needs. as we know, there are numerous threats facing our country: terrorism practiced by groups like isil, al qaeda and its associates iranian efforts to advance its ballistic missile program, pursue a nuclear weapon and sponsor terror and russian
and chinese attempts to expand their sphere of influence which will require us to modernize our force. we must eventually give the defense department the certainty it needs to modernize the force. members continue to work towards solutions for funding defense in the most robust and predictable way possible. but i commend chairman enzi and senator lindsey graham for providing us with a path forward in the interim. their proposal represents a good-faith compromise to begin the legislative process for the defense authorization bill we'll continue later this year. when the additional overseas contingency unfunded mandates can be prudently reallocated against the actual procurement and modernization needs of our military if only for the coming fiscal year. short of revising the b.c.a., this is the best strategy to keep l faith with our armed sofses and this is -- services and this is the best option we have for leaving president obama's successor in the
position to face so many global challenges. every budget obviously is a compromise. this one is surely that, but it's a good compromise. it embraces growth. it reaches for a more prosperous energy future. it positions our nation for a better outcome than we'd see otherwise on defense. it's bold yet balanced and it aims to change washington's focus away from the needs of big spending politicians and toward the aspirations of hardworking americans who are very right to demand a government that's efficient, accountable and focused on growth. this budget is all those things, and i urge our colleagues to support it. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: these budgets we deal with are more than just a piece of paper. it's a lot of numbers. each budget that we put forward
and republicans put forward are statements of our values, and it tells americans basically whose side we're on. i think if you look at these budgets, you'll find that the budget that we propounded -- and you will see when the votes take place this week -- are those that put the middle class first s. a budget that supports hardworking families, creates jobs invests in our future. the republican budget, by contrast, they've developed a budget that attacks the middle class, preserves the interest of special interests and the super wealthy. how can i say that? i say that because it's the truth. for example here's some of the things that the republicans are proposing in their budget. they want to take away health care from 16.4 million americans now insured through obamacare. senate republicans' budget wreaks havoc on medicare at the
is expense of america's seniors. the senate republican budget makes drastic cuts to medicaid and cuts millions of families that rely on it to pay for nursing homes and other care. a lot of that care that we have in nursing homes is not for people who are indigent. it's people who have had to go to medicaid because everything they've worked for their whole life is gone. the budget the republicans are pushing cuts nutrition assistance for those in need. it slices job training and sources for millions of american workers and it cuts millions of financial aid for college students. and that's the truth. these are all attacking middle-class priorities. republicans as usual have gone the extra mile to protect special interests and the super rich. incredibly even as they take money away from hardworking families seniors and students, republicans won't close a single tax loophole to reduce the
deficit. not one. but they pay those indirectly, those super rich more money? of course they do. mr. president, forbes magazine had an article between 2011 and 2013 top 14 richest people in america gained during that period of time almost $200 billion. hard to comprehend but it's true. 14 people, about $200 billion. with the budget that has been put forward by the republicans in tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas? no. would they close loopholes for wealthy hedge fund managers? no. would they take away wasteful and unneeded break for these huge oil and gas companies? no not a single one. would they ask millions, even billionaires pay a penny more?
no not one. mr. president, attacking the middle class while protecting the super wealthy isn't just irresponsible. some would say it's immoral. and there's more. the budget is dishonest. it claims to balance but it doesn't. talk about a balanced budget over ten years is so foolish so untrue. s "usa today," the newspaper said -- quote -- "the republican budget rely" -- i'm quoting." relying on huge spending cuts and bewildering gimmicks that don't begin to add up." "the new york times" in one of its op-eds said the budget is a trillion-dollar con job. close quote. i'm not saying this, mr. president. we have "usa today," "the new york times." but who's being fooled here? the fact is one area with so far many people have been fooled and they have been fooled a lot. during the markup of the budget
resolution senate republicans claimed to increase defense spending by adding an extra $38 billion in war funding known as overseas contingency operations or o.c.o. the republican leader talked about that a few minutes but that money isn't close to being real because of what seems to be a drafting error not one extra dollar can be spent on defense of sequestration caps. the resolution on the floor puts a strict cap on o.c.o. funding. for whatever reason republicans neglected to allow the cap to allow an additional $38 billion for defense. in other words the republicans' extra defense money is a fraud a hoax, certainly a political gimmick. we want to provide real sequestration -- i'm sorry. we want to provide real relief to sequestration which is so bewildering the country in so many different ways. not only defense in virtually