Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Spratt Budget Alternative

March 20, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke tonight on the House floor in support of a Democratic budget alternative proposed by Congressman John Spratt of South Carolina and against the Republican budget proposal. Congressman Spratt is the Assistant to the Democratic Leader and the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee. Below is a transcript of her remarks:

"Thank you Mr. Spratt for yielding, and for your distinguished leadership in putting together the budget proposal this evening. I rise in strong support of the Spratt Budget resolution and in opposition to the Republican budget on the floor tonight.

"I want to congratulate Mr. Spratt on his great leadership. I also want to commend Representative Major Owens for his leadership on the Congressional Black Caucus budget, and Representative Charlie Stenholm for his leadership on the Blue Dog budget. All three of these Democratic budgets are far superior to the Republican proposal.

"I believe, Mr. Chairman, that our federal budget should be a statement of our national values. We should allocate our resources to those proposals that are important to us.

"Let me ask you, my colleagues, is it a statement of your values to cut funding for the education of our children in order to give a tax cut to the wealthiest in America?

"I didn’t think so. America’s children deserve better.

"Is it a statement of your values to give a meager prescription drug benefit and cut nursing home care to America’s seniors while giving most of the tax breaks to those who need it least?

"I didn’t think so either. America’s seniors deserve better.

"Is it a statement of your values to cut funding for America’s disabled veterans and not include one penny for a war budget as we send our young men and women into harm’s way?

"America’s veterans and servicemen and servicewomen deserve better.

"Is it a statement of your values to underfund homeland security while we are on high alert?

"The American people deserve better.

"The Republican budget is clearly not a statement of our national values. It explodes the deficit, fails to create jobs, and fails to invest in the education and healthcare initiatives that this country needs for long-term economic growth.

"I commend Ranking Member Spratt for his masterful leadership in developing a Democratic budget that creates jobs-in fact 1 million new jobs this year. The Spratt proposal balances the budget, sparks economic growth, and fund the priorities of working families: education for their children, prescription drugs for their parents and grandparents, health care for our veterans, and resources for the police and firefighters who protect our communities.

"This Democratic budget invests in our children. The Republican budget indebts them. This Democratic budget gives the American people the responsible budget they deserve. The Republican budget is reckless and irresponsible. On every measure important to working families, the Democratic budget is better.

"We will fight this unconscionable Republican budget at every opportunity. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Spratt resolution. Thank you, Mr. Speaker."


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