Press Releases

Kuster, House Assistant Minority Leader Neguse: "Seniors Over Special Interests, Families Over Corporations, People Over Politics"

Washington, D.C. — Today, House Assistant Minority Leader Joe Neguse was joined by leaders from every corner of the Democratic Caucus in a press conference calling out the draconian cuts proposed in the Republican Study Committee’s (RSC) backward budget. Supported by an overwhelming number of House Republicans and 100% of their leadership, the RSC’s 2025 budget would put a stop to critical programs American families rely on, gutting Social Security and Medicare. The Assistant Leader was joined by Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02), John Larson (CT-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Annie Kuster (NH-02), and Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). 

Congressman Neguse and the participating members pointed to recent reports stating that Americans across the political spectrum are concerned by the RSC’s budget proposal with 55% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, and 92% of Democrats finding the suggested cuts concerning. Neguse’s opening remarks are as follows: 

Assistant Leader Neguse: “Good morning. Thank you everyone for being here this morning. Week after week, House Republicans have continued to prove just how out of step they are with the priorities of the American people. Embroiled in constant chaos and conflict and dysfunction, our colleagues across the aisle are charting down a dangerous path – and I can think of no greater example of their disconnect than the Republican Study Committee’s backwards budget. 

“Their plan upends critical programs, makes draconian cuts to Medicare and Social Security. It raises health care costs. It would strip coverage for millions, forcing Americans to work longer for less, and makes caring for our families more costly. The American people disagree with this plan. Overwhelmingly. A Navigator poll that was released today showing just how displeased they are with the Republicans attempts to slash these critical programs.

“We are lucky to have in the House Democratic Caucus, a constellation of leaders who are on the front lines fighting against the Republican efforts to harm working families, including, of course, the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee for Social Security on Ways and Means and someone who's been a champion for Social Security throughout the duration of his career in the United States Congress, including, formerly as the chairman of our House Democratic Caucus, John Larson from Connecticut.”

Social Security Ranking Member, Rep. Larson: “At a time when Congress has been looking at wealth disparity, it has to look no further than its own inaction. More than 50 years have passed since the United States Congress has enhanced Social Security. Every person here understands the necessity of what has to be done for the American people. 10,000 baby boomers a day become eligible for Social Security, and more than 40% of the 70 million Americans on Social Security – it's the only retirement benefit that they have. Democrats have a plan. We're going to make sure that there's an across-the-board increase. We're going to make sure that no one can retire into poverty.” 

Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Boyle: “Every single Republican except for one on the House Budget Committee is a member of the Republican Study Committee. So, this is clearly the Republican budget. And what does it do? Right there, in black and white, it cuts Social Security for every American who is currently 59 years of age or younger by raising the retirement age. The retirement age is already going up. The full retirement age today is 66 and a half. It will soon be 67. How high do they want to go? 70? 72?” 

“I would like to help my Republican friends get a little more attention for their crazy ideas. Because they're dangerous. These devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare would impact almost every American family. Certainly, the families that I represent in North and Northeast Philadelphia and many places beyond. The good news is that House Democrats are here to fight them every step of the way. But let's be clear: If they're putting out their plan, we should believe them. This is what they plan to do if we don't fight back and stop them.” 

Chair Jayapal: “What did Democrats do? Democrats? When we had the gavels, we worked hard to lower costs, health care costs for Americans across this country. We are the ones that made it possible to have a $35 a month insulin cap and a $2,000 a year out-of-pocket cap for seniors. Republicans are proposing stripping that progress.” 

“All of this is also so that Republicans can keep giving big pharma and the wealthiest billionaires tax cuts. It's cruel, extreme, and unworkable. And Democrats are going to fight tooth and nail all the way, not only to prevent their extreme plan from being in place, but actually to implement our own plan, which continues to lower health care costs for seniors and for all Americans.”

Chair Kuster: “This far right Republican House has made bipartisanship harder than ever before. And this misguided budget proposal is the latest example of the stark contrast between our values and the values that are represented by MAGA Republicans. From cuts to Medicare to raising the retirement age for Americans across the country and slashing Social Security benefits. This proposal would represent a massive step backward for the American people who are looking to Congress to move our country forward.”

Co-Chair of the Task Force on Aging, Rep. Schakowsky: “What we are seeing is an attack on the most basic programs that define the United States of America, for example Social Security or Medicare. The Republican Study group, which makes up the majority of the Republican Party right now in the House of Representatives, has put in writing what they want to do, including raising the age of Social Security.” 

“But when they talk about cutting Social Security, they are talking about taking money out of people’s pockets that they earned. Let's remember Social Security. Every single paycheck, people pay into it and expect to get it out. So, when they say that they want to raise the age, which is definitely a cut, they are saying they want to go into your pocket and taking money that is yours away [...] Democrats stand for the American people. We stand for making sure that all of these benefits are intact, and defeating the MAGA Republicans, who want nothing more than to make life miserable for most Americans.” 

Key excerpts from the Q&A, include: 

On GOP’s Motion to Vacate threats…

Assistant Leader Neguse: “First and foremost, the chaos and the dysfunction that House Republicans have engulfed the U.S. Congress into for the better part of the last 15 months does nothing to help the American people and solve the consequential challenges that we face as a country. At the end of the day, any decision with respect to a Motion to Vacate or anything along those lines would be a decision that's made by our Leader, by Leader Jeffries, who has, I think, artfully and masterfully, time after time navigated, a number of these situations over the course of the last 15, 16 months.” 

On MAGA Republicans endangering national security…

Assistant Leader Neguse: “You're certainly right that the clock is ticking. It has been ticking. And Republican obstinance and delays have unfortunately, in my view, undermined our national security and the ability of our allies across the globe. House Republicans have faced a binary choice for the better part of the last two and a half months. And it is a choice that not just House Democrats have articulate it to them, but Senate Democrats, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Leader of the United States Senate, which is support our allies, support our national security by bringing forward, the bipartisan Senate bill, which passed, as you know, with 70 votes in the United States Senate on a bipartisan basis.” 

Recording of the full press conference and Q&A can be found HERE