Dold, Schneider Join Budget Debate
With scant support for bipartisan proposal, Dold votes for Ryan Republican budget. Schneider claims bill hurts seniors and middle class. Schakowsky also weighs in.
After joining a failed bipartisan effort to adopt a broad approach to rein in the country’s financial condition Wednesday, Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) of Illinois 10th Congressional District voted for the Republican House budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Thursday.
Dold’s decision to go along with the House Republican majority after the initial idea did not get much support from either party drew criticism from Deerfield management consultant Brad Schneider, Dold’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 6 general election.
Dold joined a group of Democrats and Republicans to introduce a proposed budget for the next fiscal year based on recommendations two years ago by President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction commission, known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
The latest rendition of a bipartisan approach to the budget, know as Cooper-LaTourette, lost, 382-38.
“I support the Cooper-LaTourette budget because my constituents are crying out for us to find common ground and advance solutions on a bipartisan basis,” Dold said. “I was pleased to work with some of the Democrats on this serious proposal that puts everything on the table for discussion.”
The idea coupled spending cuts and entitlement reforms with changes to the tax structure.
Schneider called Dold’s decision to back the House Republican plan, which passed with a 228-191 vote, “unfortunate” because of its treatment of Medicare and the undue burden it places on middle class and older Americans.
“We should not balance the budget on the backs of families and seniors who can afford it the least, especially while we keep giving out tax breaks to those who simply do not need them,” Schneider said.
Schneider would begin by ending favorable tax treatment for companies which transfer jobs outside the country, reduce subsidies to oil companies and eliminate military spending already approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
“I know with smart policy decisions, we can cut spending and balance the budget in common sense ways that protect the middle class,” Schneider said. “We have an obligation to our children to get our deficit under control as well as a duty to our seniors to protect Medicare.”
Recognizing the House leaves Medicare intact for those 55 and over, Dold joined his fellow Republicans voting for the proposal because it helps contain the country’s debt.
“I voted to support the Republican budget proposal because this blueprint provides a clear vision of what this country needs to do to get our skyrocketing debt and deficits under control and put us back on a path to prosperity,” Dold said. “I appreciate the importance of both looking at the big picture and the pragmatic need to find a way to get things done.”
U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat who represents Illinois 9th Congressional District, which includes Niles and much of Morton Grove, issued a statement:
“Today I voted against the irresponsible Republican budget resolution for fiscal year 2013. Budgets reflect priorities, and the Republicans' budget makes clear that their party puts the richest 1 percent as top priority and makes everyone else bear the burden.
Republicans offered a similar budget last year and the American people rejected it. Instead of doing some soul-searching and re-examining their choices and priorities, Republicans have doubled-down. This budget ends the Medicare guarantee and will raise the already-high out-of-pocket spending for seniors, who have an average income of just $19,000 a year. It increases defense spending while slashing investments important to job creation, seniors, children, and the middle class, and places a cap on food assistance for the poor.
At the same time, this budget includes a tax plan that would give the average millionaire a tax break of $394,000. And because Republicans claim that tax changes would be revenue neutral, Republicans will have to raise taxes on the middle class and slash all domestic spending. In 2010, 93 percent of the additional income in the U.S., $288 billion, went to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. Meanwhile, the bottom 99 percent increased their income by an average of just 80 dollars. The Republican budget would do nothing to address income inequality. Instead, it would make it worse.
Americans want leadership from their government that would rebuild the middle class and put our economy on a strong footing for the future. The Republican budget does not reflect Americans' priorities. Fortunately, it will go no further than today's vote in the House.”