"Last year, when the Republican leadership brought their budget resolution to the floor I commented that they were 'leading us down a fiscally dangerous path.' Now that we are debating the fiscal year 2003 budget resolution, it is clear that the Republican leadership has no intention of exiting that treacherous route.
"This 2003 budget resolution, like its 2002 predecessor proposed by the same Republican majority, is fiscally irresponsible and puts at risk Congress's ability to live up to our commitments to public welfare, the environment, and important infrastructure projects.
"The Social Security trust fund is being invaded for more than $1 trillion over the five-year budget window. In addition the entire Medicare surplus will be sacrificed. At the same time, the purchasing power of our domestic programs is being reduced by more than $20 billion in fiscal 2003 alone. Instead of providing necessary funding for critical domestic needs, the Republican leadership is taking Social Security and Medicare funds paid from the wages of working people and returning it through tax cuts to the corporations and individuals who are least in need.
"The public deserves an honest, long-term budget, but Congress is not able to provide one when there is such a broad disconnect between what the Republican leadership promises and what they deliver. The opportunity for an honest debate with alternatives and amendments has been stifled by the closed rule the Republicans have put into place for the debate of this resolution.
"In addition to funding the war on terrorism and ensuring homeland security, my constituents in Oregon want the federal government to fulfill its commitment to domestic priorities, which includes Social Security, the environment, education, and necessary infrastructure projects. This budget resolution fails our domestic priorities and, therefore, I oppose its passage."