WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX) opened today’s Ways and Means Committee Hearing highlighting the ways President Biden’s budget is a roadmap to sabotage America’s economic recovery and put Washington in control of Americans’ life-or-death medical decisions.
“Democrats would rather put Washington in charge, and as a result, cause greater problems,” Rep. Brady said. “Good paying jobs and growing paychecks do more for working families than new Washington mandates and permanently smaller paychecks.”
President Biden insists on putting Washington in control of Americans’ life-or-death medical decisions.
- Democrats’ plan for government price controls on drugs will lead to fewer cures, with as many as 100 fewer drugs entering the U.S. market over the next decade.
- Republicans have introduced the bipartisan Lower Costs, More Cures Act, which will lower drug costs without limiting access to cures.
American families deserve to keep the greater access and choice in health care they relied on to get through the pandemic.
- Though the national weekly average of telehealth users jumped from 13,000 to 1.7 million during the pandemic, Democrats will not guarantee the continuation of these critical benefits for Medicare patients in the future.
- Republicans believe there is a bipartisan opportunity to make expanded telehealth permanent, in order to empower patient choice and make our health care system more effective and efficient.
Democrats’ family leave and child care approach works for Washington, not America’s workers.
- Democrats are pushing a partisan bill that promotes “Welfare Without Work” at a cost of over 451,000 jobs and puts the IRS in charge of families’ paid leave.
- Republicans’ approach provides greater flexibility and choice to parents while focusing the greatest benefits on low-wage workers.
President Biden’s border crisis is making challenges in the U.S. foster care system worse.
- HHS has diverted about $2.1 billion allocated by Congress to cover the cost of caring for more than tens of thousands of migrant children who have crossed the southern border this year.
- Republican leaders’ demands for answers for transparency from the Biden Administration have gone unanswered.
President Biden’s budget provides taxpayer funding of abortions.
- Despite a majority of Americans’ opposition to taxpayer-funded abortions, President Biden is repealing a long-standing bipartisan provision, the Hyde Amendment, which bars such use of taxpayer funds. The Biden Budget dramatically increases access to taxpayer funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, and reversed a Trump Administration executive order that barred U.S. tax dollars from being sent overseas to pay for and promote abortions.
Watch Rep. Brady’s opening statement HERE.
Rep. Brady’s opening remarks appear below.
Thank you, Chairman Neal for holding this important hearing. It’s always good to welcome back a friend and former colleague of the House Ways and Means Committee Secretary Becerra.
Let’s begin by taking a look at the health of the economy.
Even though President Biden inherited a strong recovery, life saving vaccines, and a re-opening economy, he is sabotaging the jobs recovery with crippling tax increase proposals that hurt working families, slow hiring, and drive U.S. jobs overseas.
Proof is in the April and May jobs report, the first of which was a major economic setback, and the recent which fell far short of even dumbed-down jobs expectations.
Long-term unemployment is worse today than it was before the pandemic and labor force participation has regressed to the 1970s.
To put it in perspective, despite all the advantages he inherited – including trillions of new stimulus spending – during his first five months, President Biden is half a million jobs short of what President Trump achieved in his last five months, most of which was during the height of COVID deaths.
The Washington Post recently gave President Biden two Pinocchio’s for his false claims about job creation.
It’s clear we don’t need more stimulus: we need better economic policies.
Despite our differences, our committee has worked hard to find common ground, as the Chairman said, in health care, foster care, Medicare improvements, telehealth, COVID aid, maternal mortality, helping the underserved and rural communities, and most recently leading a first-ever national ban on surprise medical bills.
Regrettably, though, this hearing reveals a budget that is truly partisan.
After a massive pandemic, President Biden insists on putting Washington in charge of Americans’ personal health decisions, even when it means cancelling their private health insurance through Medicare-for-All, fewer cures for devastating diseases through H.R. 3, imposing costly new one-size-fits all mandates on Main Street businesses, ignoring the looming insolvency of Medicare, creating new entitlements that require dramatically higher payroll taxes on workers and puts the IRS in charge of your time off, and doubling down on the fatally flawed Affordable Care Act.
The fact is American’s don’t trust Washington with their life-or-death medical decisions.
They oppose a socialist take-over of their health care.
And they know that good-paying jobs and growing wages do far more for working families than one-size fits all Washington mandates and permanently smaller paychecks.
Americans also don’t want lower drug prices at the expense of future cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS, diabetes, and cancer – as Democrats rushed through the House in H.R 3.
They want Congress to work together to deliver lower drug prices and more lifesaving cures, as Republicans proposed in the bipartisan H.R 19.
President Biden’s budget ignores the looming insolvency of Medicare, without meaningful reforms to address the fact that the program is just five years away from going broke.
Instead, Democrats make it worse by expanding the program beyond today’s seniors, jeopardizing the Medicare guarantee that seniors paid a lifetime into.
The possibility that telehealth benefits may soon be stripped from those who relied on it to get through the Covid pandemic? Another problem ignored in the Biden budget.
This budget ignores the failures of the Affordable Care Act, and seems to acknowledge that Obamacare has done little to address rising health care costs.
That’s why the Biden budget spends another $160 billion over the next decade, without addressing the real problem of continuing rising costs.
The Biden budget includes two new entitlement programs that will cost more than half-a-trillion dollars just in its first decade.
And, oh, yes, for the first time puts the IRS in charge of your time-off from work, while permanently shrinking the paychecks of every worker, whether they use paid family leave or not.
President Biden and the Vice President also continue to ignore the dangerous border crisis that treats so many young children cruelly, putting their lives at risk in the hands of dangerous coyotes.
Now we are seeing America’s foster children also hurt as the Biden Administration diverts congressionally allocated health care and foster care funds that push America’s foster kids out of their homes to make way for migrant children.
This crisis has made its way into communities across the country and it’s making worse the challenges facing our foster care system.
Just last month, nearly 300 children in Texas had to seek shelter in an office, a hotel, or a church, because there were no open beds in our current foster care system.
I hope that you, Secretary Becerra, as we discuss, can shed some light on the agency’s handling of the crisis and ensuring the wellbeing of the more than 18,000 unaccompanied kids in your care.
There is too much at stake to get this wrong. I know that we can agree on this. Whether we’re talking about foster kids, child care, health care, Medicare, or life-saving cures, President Biden’s budget, in our view, is the last thing Americans need.
We should and could go a different way. We can tackle enormous challenges by working together.
And I hope that’s what we do. Secretary Becerra, welcome back to the Committee. And Chairman Neal, I hope we can take a step in that direction today.