December 19, 2005
Congressman Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) made the following statement concerning his vote against the Budget Reconciliation:
“Last month, I voted against the House version of the budget reconciliation bill. At that time, I pledged to work with my colleagues to craft legislation that will balance our budget, while also maintaining access to health care and education for all Americans. The conference report before the House remains deeply flawed and fails to meet the goals that I laid out in November.
This bill cuts an estimated $39.7 billion over five years from vital services like Medicaid, food stamps, and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs which directly help disadvantaged Americans. This legislation also adds new fees and higher interest rates for student loans, harming those who are seeking to gain an education. These students are the next generation of innovators and it is through their achievements that our nation will remain competitive in the global marketplace. This is unacceptable. While I strongly believe in fiscal discipline, we should not balance the budget on the backs of those Americans that need help the most. This simply is not consistent with the priorities and values of the American people.
The majority’s claims that this measure will help balance the budget are hypocritical at best. This is reckless policymaking from a party that once claimed to believe in fiscal responsibility, and it comes at a time when the national debt exceeds $8 trillion and the annual cost of interest on the debt has increased to over $300 billion a year.”