Ranking Member Hoyer Statement at the Hearing on President Biden's Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request and Economic Outlook
Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's budget and oversight hearing on President Biden’s fiscal year 2024 budget request and economic outlook:
- As Prepared For Delivery -
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to be back on this subcommittee on which I served for 23 years prior to my becoming Majority Leader. I’m glad to be back. I look forward to continuing to work with you all in the weeks, months, and years to come.
Just the other week, President Biden unveiled his budget proposal for fiscal year 2024. From investing in American workers and families to shoring up Medicare and other vital programs, it truly is a budget, in my view, For The People. Additionally, it advances many priorities that fall under our subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
It includes, for example, a 5.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment for our nation’s hard-working federal employees to keep pace with inflation. As someone who has long been an advocate for America’s federal workforce, I will keep working tirelessly with my colleagues on the committee to ensure that these public servants receive the fair pay and benefits they have earned.
I was also pleased to see President Biden request additional funding for the I.R.S., which would help ensure that it can provide the highest quality customer service for American taxpayers and rein in tax evasion and fraud among those making more than $400,000 a year.
Similarly, the proposed budget would strengthen the Treasury Department and other agencies overseeing our financial system. The recent turmoil surrounding Silicon Valley Bank and a handful of others reminds us how crucial it is for the Treasury to receive the resources it needs to coordinate with the F.D.I.C. and the federal reserve to safeguard our economy. Our subcommittee must see to it that the treasury is fully equipped to tackle these challenges quickly and effectively.
The budget also includes robust funding for our election infrastructure, including the election assistance commission that I helped establish through the Help America Vote Act. These HAVA programs must receive the funding they need to ensure that our elections remain secure, accurate, and accessible. These provisions, like the rest of President Biden’s budget, would help set our nation up for success for generations to come.
They stand in startling contrast to proposals we’ve heard recently to roll back federal appropriations to their fiscal year 2022 level. The senior member on our side might have some words to say about that. This extreme course of action would lead to a cut of at least twenty-two percent for essential programs. These cuts would also deal a severe blow to airport and railway safety. Millions would lose access to health care services provided by community health centers. These are just a few of the plethora of dire effects these cuts would have on our country.
These cuts would raise costs for American families and stifle our economy at a time when it is still fragile from the pandemic and global supply-chain disruptions. It is not fair to put that immense burden on the American people. Instead, we must make sure that Americans have the resources, opportunities, and support they need to get ahead.
We need to execute on the plans outlined in the proposed budget.
I am pleased to welcome two people who were instrumental in formulating it: Director Young and Secretary Yellen. I thank you for your work on this year’s budget, which I firmly believe would propel America toward a more prosperous future. I look forward to hearing from you today on why and how we ought to implement it.