Pelosi Remarks at Press Event on the GOP Balanced Budget Amendment’s Assault on Seniors’ Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security


Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Seniors Task Force Co-Chairs Jan Schakowsky and Doris Matsui for a press event on the negative impacts of the ‘balanced budget amendment’ on seniors and their families. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi. Good afternoon everyone. The votes, as usual, rule our timetable, so forgive me for being a few minutes late. But, we are all here to raise our voices against the Republicans’ cynical balanced budget constitutional amendment, and their brazen attacks on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. We are very honored that Lisa James Henson is here, and perhaps Lucila Torres will be here as well, to share their stories with us.

I am very proud to be here with the co-chairs of our Senior Task Force, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congresswoman Doris Matsui. Of course we are always honored when the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee can join us and can speak with some great authority on the fact that a budget is supposed to be a statement of our national values. What is in it should be a statement of what is important to us as a nation.

As they go forward and call this a so-called ‘balanced budget amendment,’ it is not balanced and it should not be an amendment to the Constitution.

As we all know the Republicans have these tax cuts for the rich, 83% of the benefits going to the top 1%. Eighty-six million middle class American families will be paying more taxes in the life of the bill. What is important is it increases the deficit, when you add in the interest of the tax cut for corporate America of $2 trillion, which adds to the deficit. So they make no mistake.

As soon as they passed their bill, the President put forth his budget with cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability benefits. And now they want to codify a political ideology.

They want to pass this balanced budget amendment which attacks the fundamental promise of dignity and security for America’s seniors and working families: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, pillars of health security for America’s families along with the Affordable Care Act. All along the Republicans have fought to destroy those bedrock guarantees of our democracy. America’s seniors deserve so much more.

I always like to have sessions with college students, high school students and the rest to hear what they think about the future. And when they talk about what some of their priorities are, they always talk about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security because they know what it means to their families. They know that their parents do not have to take responsibility for their grandparents, that they can invest in the next generation. They see the connection, they see the family tie.

We are going to fight back. Democrats are fighting back, and we are going to defend Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. I cannot say the names of those three pillars enough. Just the hypocrisy of it all. To give a big tax cut and increase the national debt and then to say ‘now we have to balance the budget on the backs of America’s seniors and America’s working families.’

Now I am pleased to yield to one of the co-chairs of the Seniors Task Force, a champion who before she even came to Congress was fighting for our seniors, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

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