Congressman Smith released the following statement on the budget votes in the House today:

“Since the economic recession, many hardworking Americans have been pushed out of the economy because they can’t find a job or have one that doesn’t pay enough to make ends meet.  Only a small percentage of Americans are sharing in economic growth and income inequality has reached heights not seen since before the Great Depression.  Our nation needs a budget that is focused on expanding economic opportunity, investing in innovation and infrastructure, and creating jobs to strengthen the middle class.
“That is why I supported both the Van Hollen Budget and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) budget today.  These budgets recognize that extending emergency unemployment insurance, raising the minimum wage, and protecting programs like SNAP and Head Start provide essential support for hard-working Americans trying to find work in a recovering economy.  The budgets also provide critical relief from sequestration and bolsters investments in education, job training, and innovation that will help create jobs.  These policies set reasonable goals for decreasing our debt and deficit while maintaining investments in jobs and our economy right now.
“Unfortunately, the budget passed by House Republicans today not only fails to recognize the challenges facing our country, but also moves us in the wrong direction.  The Ryan budget radically dismantles Medicare by turning the system into a voucher program. It also cuts funding for programs like SNAP and
Head Start, while slashing investments in innovation, education, and worker training programs that have been essential in helping families get back to work in a slowly recovering economy.  And it makes these cuts without asking the wealthier to pay a penny more.  The policies in this budget would be devastating to seniors, the middle class, and the poor, while giving even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who have already benefitted massively over the last decade from the Bush tax cuts.
“As the budget debate continues, I will work with my colleagues to promote policies that promote economic opportunity, reduce income inequality, and create jobs. Unfortunately, the Republican budget passed today ignores the real challenges our country faces and slashes critical programs that invest in our future.”