October 19, 2017

Cardin Says Republican-Only Budget is Fiscally Irresponsible

“I am amazed that self-proclaimed fiscal conservatives supported this budget.”

WASHINGTON –U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, lamented how the budget passed Thursday along partisan lines by the Senate will do immense harm to our nation and our economy, should the policies it promotes be enacted into law. Senator Cardin was especially critical of the reconciliation process established for tax reform, which will lead to an explosion in the deficit and attacks on programs that help working families across the country.

“A budget is supposed to reflect the priorities of our nation. Apparently, the Republican Senate believes our priorities include exploding our deficit; causing interest rates to rise; harming working families, seniors and children; putting corporate polluters’ interests over the health and safety of the American people; allowing our roads, bridges and water infrastructure to crumble; and generally stopping the tide of economic recovery that has been building nationwide over the last few years. I disagree. This budget, which is a blatant vehicle for partisan tax cuts for the 1 percent, is fiscally irresponsible and counterproductive to economic growth. It is unprecedented in its attacks on Medicare, Medicaid and infrastructure spending.

“Our system of checks and balances is broken when the legislative branch supports such outlandish executive branch attempts to cripple our economy and do lasting damage to our nation’s global leadership. With this partisan budget, Senate Republicans have missed an opportunity to foster growth and opportunity.”

Senate Republicans rejected a budget amendment today from Senator Cardin that would have stopped them from exploding the deficit in order to provide tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Senator Cardin’s amendment (#1375) raised a point of order against any legislation that would include tax cuts that would cause or increase a deficit or reduce a surplus. 

“Historical precedent shows very clearly that tax cuts for the 1 percent will not magically grow our economy or pay for themselves – no matter how many times the President or Secretary Mnuchin says they will. It is utterly irresponsible and counterproductive to enact tax cuts that are paid for with cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Increasing federal debt to finance tax cuts could drive up private interest rates. Businesses would have to spend more to invest. Middle-income households would pay more to borrow for a new house or a car. Deficit-financed tax cuts also foster an environment where critical programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are endangered in the future,” Senator Cardin added. 

###