WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (TX-30) shared why she voted against the House Budget Agreement.
“Throughout what should be a simple process to fulfill our constitutional obligation to pay our government’s debts, Speaker McCarthy has allowed the extremist, anti-governing wing of his party to use the debt ceiling to hold the American economy hostage – revealing that his party is willing to destroy millions of American jobs, retirement funds, businesses, and lives in order to check off items on their political wishlist that would never been passed into law under normal circumstances.
“Weeks ago, House Democrats introduced a discharge petition that would have allowed a clean raise of the debt ceiling had only five constitutionally rational-minded Republicans been brave enough to cross the aisle and put their duty before demagoguery. It appears my Republican colleagues have developed amnesia around the fact that 25% of our national debt they’ve been trying to get out of paying was authorized by their party under President Trump – or perhaps they’ve also forgotten that they then voted to raise the debt ceiling three times in four years of his presidency without batting an eye.”
“While I understand the overarching need to avoid the catastrophic consequences of a default, I cannot pretend that this forced Budget Agreement won’t directly harm my constituents. I cannot vote to support the punitive, ineffective, and needlessly cruel additional work requirements that will blindside those over 49 now forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops to receive their $6.00 a day allotment for food.
“As the representative of a district with a rate of poverty and food insecurity higher than the national average because of historic underinvestment and systemic racism, these cuts would fall squarely on the shoulders of my most vulnerable constituents. Additionally, the clawbacks of COVID-19 recovery funds would rob schools and hospitals in my district of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal reimbursement they were promised to cover the higher costs of safety improvements and worker salaries during the pandemic. There is a much easier way to lower the deficit while protecting essential government programs that lift up communities like mine – raise taxes on the richest Americans and corporations, just like President Biden has proposed in his budget deal that would lower the deficit by $2 trillion dollars MORE than this bill.”
“Here’s the truth: The vast majority of SNAP recipients who can work, do work. One of the biggest problems with these additional restrictions is that people will struggle simply because they are unable to navigate the new systemic changes that likely won’t be widely advertised nor clearly conveyed. In my district, I hear the concerns of my constituents about the rising costs of food, gas, and housing, and the six dollars a day provided by SNAP doesn’t stretch very far at the supermarket as it is. When dealing with vulnerable populations, we have to be real about their lack of accessibility to transportation and the internet, since both are necessary to even begin the application process to receive that $6.00 a day. Ironically, the cost of enforcing these work requirements would actually add to the cost of these programs – completely undermining House Republicans’ justification for adding them in the first place. It’s obvious the GOP would rather spend taxpayer money on more government bureaucracy if it means more poor Americans go hungry.
MORE AREAS OF CONCERN:
“Other areas of grave concern to me within this bill are cuts to IRS funding, climate change mitigation, and the lack of oversight regarding greater defense spending. As the daughter of an IRS employee, it breaks my heart that House Republicans don’t want to provide the much needed resources to this essential agency, rather gutting 20 billion dollars which will rob us of our ability to catch tax cheats and is estimated by the CBO to cause a net loss in revenue – adding to the national deficit. By rolling back the National Environmental Policy Act, including provisions that limit public input on fossil fuel projects, this bill sacrifices the safety and well-being of future generations by stripping away the tools we need to hold polluters accountable. This agreement asks all of these sacrifices to be loaded on the backs of the average American while raising our Defense budget by $28 billion – without the necessary oversight to avoid wasteful spending and fraud. The message this sends is clear: as Tupac said, ‘We got money for war, but can’t feed the poor.’
“I am glad to see that the Biden Administration has worked to include exemptions from SNAP work requirements for veterans, foster youth, and those experiencing homelessness. I am also glad that it was made clear that many of the most egregious attempts made by the Extreme MAGA Republicans were nonstarters, like gutting funding authorized by the historic pieces of legislation passed in the 117th Congress. Much of that funding will provide for projects in red districts to improve the lives of Americans and it will all be due to the hard work of the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats; but something tells me that Republicans will show up to the ribbon cuttings and not tell their constituents how it was Democrats that passed the funds they’re now taking credit for. I am also happy that we were able to stop House Republicans from gutting Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and Veteran benefits. These are victories – but the American people deserve to know how they were robbed of funding for the programs they depend on for the benefit of Speaker McCarthy and his team of anti-government MAGA extremists.”
Upon receipt of the text of the House Budget Agreement, Representative Crockett filed five amendments to reduce the harm caused by Republican cuts while preserving deficit reduction. They were rejected by the Republican House majority. Details on these proposed amendments are included below:
- Amendment to delay resumption of student loan repayment and accrual of interest for 120 days after passage – giving borrowers who haven’t had to pay for three years more runway
- Amendment to direct the IRS to provide a report on the impact on the rate of tax fraud caused by the recission of funds
- Amendment to limit new work requirements imposed on TANF, a program which is used predominantly by young mothers
- Amendment to limit additional SNAP work requirements to new enrollment only, grandfathering in current SNAP participants so they wouldn’t be unceremoniously kicked off benefits
- Amendment to prohibit states from removing an individual’s benefits until they are certified as meeting an acceptable notice standard set by USDA – many states’ notice procedures are currently all but nonexistent