Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the floor this afternoon to support the Concurrent Budget Resolution for 2009. Below are her remarks, as prepared:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of the Budget Resolution Conference Report and to thank the learned and consummate Chairman of the Budget Committee, John Spratt, for his excellent work in bringing this conference report to the floor.
“This budget resolution is a remarkable achievement. For the first time since the year 2000, the Congress will pass a budget during an election year. That fact is a tribute to the legislative skill and enormous intellect of Chairman John Spratt.
“The federal budget is more than just the government's balance sheet. It is a statement of our values and priorities as a nation. Once again, Chairman Spratt has delivered us a budget that is balanced fiscally and balanced morally.
“This budget is fiscally responsible; it reduces the deficit and returns the nation's budget to balance in 2012. It is fully compliant with pay-as-you-go budget rules.
“It is morally balanced because it meets our obligation to defend our country and care for our veterans while also strengthening America's economy and creating jobs.
“Within its fiscally-balanced framework, the Democratic budget makes several key investments in critical priorities.
“It provides an additional $3.7 billion for veterans' health care and services, which is why this budget has the strong support of major veterans' groups; provides $7.7 billion for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other energy initiatives, which is $2.8 billion more than just last year; rejects the Bush Administration's ill-advised cuts to LIHEAP and instead provides $5.1 billion for energy assistance for seniors and families; provides an additional nearly $2 billion to fully accommodate the commitments made in the America COMPETES Act to spur innovation and basic science investments.
“By setting the right priorities and making tough choices, our budget also cuts taxes for the middle class and those aspiring to it, and protects 20 million households from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
“In any year, crafting the budget for the entire federal government in an enormous task. In the midst of an election year, and all the pressures that it entails, the job is all the more difficult.
“Thank you again, Chairman Spratt. You have produced a New Direction budget that deserves the support of the entire House.”