DPCC Co-Chair Jeffries: Trump’s Budget Does Not Put Taxpayers First
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy & Communications Committee (DPCC), appeared on Bloomberg TV today to slam President Trump for balancing his budget on the backs of middle class Americans. Below are excerpts from the interview. Click here to watch the video.
“The director made clear, as far as I’m concerned, that the Trump budget does not put taxpayers or hard-working Americans first. It puts the wealthy and well off first. It balances itself on the back of working families, middle-class folks, senior citizens, the poor, the sick, the afflicted as well as rural America, all to ultimately provide the wealthiest amongst us with a dramatic tax cut. It's based on the premise that a significant tax cut will generate huge economic growth, but there is no evidence that I can find or that reasonable economists have been able to find to support this trickle-down economic theory.”
“We have a recess next week where we are going to communicate directly with the American people about the consequences of this budget, which would cut head start, cut meals on wheels, cut a wide variety of programs such as Medicaid, assistance to nursing homes that people all throughout America, not just in urban America, but in suburban and rural America that would be devastated by this budget. We will talk directly to the American people over the next week and reconvene in Washington, D.C. as a budget committee to go over the exact details of the budget and vote on it.”
“I hope we will be able to kill that budget in committee. Republicans will try to advance it to the floor of the House of Representatives. The Republicans have run on the concept of return to a so-called regular order where we would have a hearing, a markup of the budget, it would go to the floor come voted on the House and over to the Senate and then sent to the President. It's not clear to me that many of my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle want to vote on a budget that would be so devastating to their constituents that they represent. It’s good to parade the headlines that this is fiscally responsible and would reduce or eliminate the deficit over the next 10 years, but the more that Americans learn about the details [and] the fine print in what is being proposed, the more they are likely to reject this Trump budget.”
“We want to make sure we can provide Americans in need with a hand up not a handout. There is uniform support for this. The notion that government programs create dependency does not find any support in the academic literature or the objective studies that have been created . That’s just a smokescreen by many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and the OMB director to justify the devastating cuts that are being made. Yes, we want to create a situation where we can create more jobs and economic growth for hard-working Americans out there. That occurred over the last eight years of the Obama administration, 12 million private sector jobs were created without any cooperation on the other side. We as Democrats are willing to work together on this issue, but we have to have Republicans who are willing to help us find common ground.”
“America's a great country and we have experienced considerable economic growth under a Democratic presidency. Barack Obama, for instance, inherited a train wreck of an economy, a mess, that was handed to him by George W. Bush. 400,000 jobs lost during the eight years of the Bush administration, 12 million plus jobs gained under Barack Obama. We saw 4.0 rates of economic growth under the Clinton administration, 20 million plus jobs that were created. We have seen not just rhetoric coming from the Democratic side of the aisle but actual results. We believe in American exceptionalism, we believe we can find common ground to further stimulate the economy, but we have to find a partner on the other side of the aisle.”
“We have the policies that are designed to help out hard-working Americans throughout the country, in rural America, in the rust belt states and the inner city. We have to do a better job of communicating those policies to the American voter and also indicate to them that we do feel their pain, we do understand that there is a reasonable amount of economic anxiety that exists because wage stagnation, underemployment, the high cost of a college education, the loss of pensions and these are issues that we as Democrats are prepared to work on p but the starting point is to indicate to the voter in a clear, authentic fashion that we understand what they are going through and will work hard to address it.”