Response of Senator Chris Coons, 5/19/15
Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns with the FY16 budget resolution. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
As someone who has acted as a countywide elected official charged with writing balanced budgets, I have long viewed budgets as not just a collection of numbers and programs, but also a statement about our basic values. Over the last two years, the Senate has taken important strides to stabilize our government’s finances, invest in our middle class, and protect the most vulnerable among us. Unfortunately, the budget proposed by Republicans denies our basic values by balancing the budget on the backs of seniors, the poor, and the middle class, while cutting investments essential for our nation’s future. I was proud to vote against this budget on May 5, 2015.
I am disappointed that Congress was not able to come together to craft a bipartisan budget that is responsible, balanced, and fair. We need a budget that preserves our social safety net by building a circle of protection around the most vulnerable among us and protecting the promises we have made to our seniors. A responsible budget would also recognize that investments in infrastructure, research, health care, and education are critical to growing our economy and supporting a strong middle class. Finally, we need a budget that lowers our deficit responsibly in a way that is fair and forward-looking – not on the backs of the middle class and poor, and not in a way that kills jobs and stifles economic growth.
While I am frustrated that Republicans passed a budget that does not encompass these basic principles, I was proud to support a number of amendments to the budget resolution during debate in the Senate which would help soften the impact this budget would have on the poor, middle-class families, and seniors. For example, I voted for an amendment to extend and expand middle-class tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. I also voted for amendments that would have prevented Medicare and Medicaid from being decimated by funding cuts. Finally, I voted for an amendment to strengthen and expand Social Security. In these ways I fought to ensure that basic protections are there for our neighbors in their deepest time of need. Despite my efforts, the budget resolution Republicans ultimately produced was simply unacceptable and I voted no.
Again, thank you for contacting me and for sharing your priorities for our federal budget. It is an honor to represent Delaware in the United States Senate, and I hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues that matter to you. My website, www.coons.senate.gov, can provide additional details about my work in the Senate, including legislation and state projects.