Pelosi: Today’s Budget Vote Will Put America’s Fiscal House in Order
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke this afternoon on the floor about the House Democratic budget, which passed by a vote of 216 to 210. Below are her remarks:
‘Madam Speaker, today this new Congress will put America’s fiscal house in order. It will do so by presenting and voting on the Democratic budget, as designed by John Spratt, the Chairman of the Budget Committee, on behalf of the House Democrats. I wish it were coming to the floor with bipartisan support in the Congress. I know it has bipartisan support in the country.
‘I commend Mr. Spratt for his exceptional leadership and for bringing to the floor a budget for the future, a budget that will initiate an era of accountability in government spending and in government accountability on our priorities. It is a budget that will come to balance in spending, and also in terms of its priorities.
‘Putting our house in order is necessary because for the last six years, the Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress have increased spending while giving tax cuts to the wealthiest few in our country, leaving our country awash in red ink, mortgaging the futures of our children. It’s just not right.
‘When President Bush took office in 2001, he inherited a budget surplus because of the paygo principles adopted by the Clinton Administration with the Democrats in the Congress. Because of those principles, the last four Clinton budgets were in surplus. Because of those paygo principles, coming out of the Clinton years, we were on a trajectory of $5.6 trillion of surplus.
‘We were on our way to ridding ourselves of the national debt. But because of the irresponsible budgeting of the Republicans in Congress and in the White House, we are now on a trajectory of $3 trillion in deficit. That is a swing of approximately $9 trillion.
‘This is historic and it is wrong. It is wrong for our children; it mortgages their future. It is wrong for our economy. This fiscal unaccountability will be corrected today with the passage of this budget.
‘The budget put forth by the Chairman is one that honors our responsibilities to the American people. A budget should be a statement of our national values. Our federal budget should reflect what is important to us as a nation. That’s how we should allocate our resources. We should do it in an ethical way and a fiscally sound way, and the most honest and open way. And we must do it, always with an eye to the future.
‘And that’s what this budget does. It honors our responsibilities, first and foremost, to protect the American people. And that is why it has the endorsement of almost every veterans group. They are actively supporting this legislation and advocating a yes vote.
‘It honors our commitment to grow our economy to create good paying jobs for the future by investing in innovation.
‘That’s why it has the support of the Council on Competitiveness and almost any entity that is geared to the future, to innovation, and to keeping America number one.
‘It honors our commitment to our children, how they are cared for, with their health care, with their education, and the economic strength of their families. That’s why it has the support of so many religious organizations who see a budget as a moral document.
‘And it honors our commitment to preserve our planet for the future. That’s why it has the support, right to left, Democrat and Republican, nonpartisan, nonprofit, any entity that you can name involved in preserving our planet, in energy independence, and respecting God’s creation. Honoring our commitment to nature and to the future, preserving the planet, this budget does that.
‘The support outside this Congress indicates that the American people are so far ahead of the Congress of United States when they think about our values and how our budget should reflect those values about accountability and how responsible we should be for the taxpayers’ dollar and about the future.
‘I urge my colleagues to support this House Democratic budget, to vote aye, a vote for the future. It’s a vote for a new era of accountability. It is a vote for a moral statement, a statement of our national values.
‘Thank you, Mr. Spratt, for your leadership.’