BUDGET AND TAXES

BUDGET AND TAXES
It is said the federal budget is a statement of values and priorities.  I have consistently opposed Republican budgets presented to the Congress, because of their misplaced priorities and the negative impact it would have on the nation.
 
Raiding Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts benefiting corporations and the very wealthy is simply wrong and unacceptable.  Trying to once again slash SNAP benefits for our most vulnerable citizens is cruel and misguided.  Sacrificing clean air and clear water protections, eliminating investments in clean energy, slashing financial aid for students and education aid is never the right course.
 
To better promote a fairer and more just budget, I have routinely supported the Democratic and Congressional Black Caucus budget alternatives.  These budgets better reflect my priorities of ensuring human needs are met through investments in affordable housing, job training, infrastructure, ensuring healthcare for all, improving retirement security, protecting our air, water and land, and providing for our veterans the care and benefits they rightly earned and deserve.
 
One of the best NO votes I have cast was in opposing the 2011 Budget Control Act or Sequestration.  This ill-conceived legislation called for mandatory across-the-board cuts to federal spending (over a 10-year period) if the so-called Super Committee of Congress could not agree to how cuts to the budget should be imposed.  Just as I feared, mandatory cuts were imposed when Congress couldn’t reach agreement on how the cuts should be directed.
 
Fortunately, the budget deal reached in July 2019 turned off the harmful Sequestration for the remainder of its legislative life.  While future mindless spending cuts are seemingly avoided, the damage inflicted on so many from past cuts are still being felt.
 
The GOP Tax Scam bill of 2017 is one of the worst bills I have seen come before the Congress.  This special interest ridden bill granted big tax cuts for corporations, the wealthiest 1%, helped a small number of the most well-to-do families escape the estate tax, and harms New York taxpayers by limiting the deduction of State And Local Taxes (SALT) at $10,000.  This provision particularly hurts New Yorkers, who already pay a disproportionate share of federal taxes, by increasing their tax liability.  In response to this harmful tax law change, I introduced HR 515, the State And Local Tax Deduction Fairness Act of 2019.  The measure seeks to retroactively repeal the deduction limitation and restore tax fairness for New Yorkers and others.
 
I am hopeful by continuing to work with my colleagues, we can repeal most of the GOP Tax Scam bill, restore fairness to our tax code, and stop the deficit explosion caused by the very wealthy to escape paying their fair share taxes.