Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the start of formal budget conference talks to finalize a blueprint for fiscal year 2014:
“After 220 days of delay and 16 days of a government shutdown, Republicans have finally joined Democrats at the negotiating table and begun our work to find responsible budget solutions that create jobs, expand the economy, and strengthen America’s middle class – the backbone of our democracy.
“It has long been clear that the House Republicans’ irresponsible and reckless policies are a luxury Americans cannot afford. From a shutdown that cost our economy $24 billion to devastating sequester cuts to a budget that gives another round of tax breaks to millionaires on the backs of Medicare recipients, their backward priorities would place a greater burden on middle class families. House Democrats are committed to responsibly reducing the deficit, but not at the expense of the well-being of our communities. We remain committed to replacing the damaging sequester cuts by cutting wasteful special interest subsidies and closing unfair tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy.
“As we move forward in the days ahead, Congress should have an open debate process that will deliver a budget that invests in – not threatens – our future. Democrats are committed to working across the aisle, and if Republicans are willing to drop their refusal to close wasteful tax loopholes, we are confident that we can deliver by Thanksgiving an agreement that will expand opportunities and promote a shared prosperity for the American people.”