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Pocan Statement on Budget Proposal

Dec 12, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a member of the House Budget Committee, today issued the following statement after voting against the budget proposal that sets spending levels for fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

“I am disappointed that I cannot vote in favor of the budget proposal on the House floor today. While I commend the budget conference committee on its work to reach a deal, just because Congress has a deal does not mean Congress has done its job.

“I am thankful this proposal provides some minor relief over the next two years from the devastating, across-the-board sequester cuts that were set to once again hit critical programs in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, sequestration will continue to do needless harm to our families, our students and our economy in the coming year and for years to come. We must continue to work on a solution to replace these harmful cuts once and for all.  

“At the end of the day, the bill abandons 1.3 million Americans who desperately need unemployment insurance, and does nothing to promote economic growth or job creation. Furthermore, the legislation is paid for on the backs of the middle class and military families, while not touching the wealthiest amongst us and allowing corporations to continue to benefit from tax loopholes.”

“Congress shouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back just because we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot. After a year marked by petty partisanship and Tea Party obstructionism, we have to do better. The challenges of growing our economy and strengthening the middle class are too important to keep kicking down the road. There is more work to do, and I urge the House to stay in Washington until we do it.”

Pocan was also disappointed that the deal only blocks a scheduled cut in payments for doctors under Medicare (also called the SGR formula) for three months. He supports a permanent repeal of the SGR formula.

Pocan believes voting in favor of the budget proposal would be an unjust acknowledgment that Congress has done its job. Unless Congress passes appropriations bills by the January deadline, this vote alone will not prevent a government shutdown.