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Cole Urges Support for Ryan Budget

April 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following remarks on the House floor in support of H.Con.Res 34, the House Republican 2012 budget resolution introduced by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. The bill was approved Friday, April 15 by the House of Representatives.

"We have heard it before, in the 1990s, we were told it was going to lead to poverty and starvation and it was the most successful poverty-reduction program in modern American history. And when we pushed through Medicare Part D, we were told drug prices would go up and it was an unsustainable program. It came in 40 percent under costs for both the individual and for the government, something no other health care program has done. The reasons why those two programs were successful were flexibility for states, choice and competition for individuals.

"I'm proud to support the Ryan budget, the only proposal that either party has offered-- and it is a contrast to what we heard yesterday, which was long on rhetoric and partisanship by the president and very short on specifics and solutions.

"In Medicare, my friends won't tell you that nobody on Medicare is going to have anything other than the programs that they already enjoy, that there is no reduction for seniors in the near term and that we actually make the changes that are necessary to protect and save the program for the long-term. If we stay on the course that they currently advocate, there will be no Medicare for people in their 20s, 30 and 40s.

"Same thing for Medicaid. My friends on the other side of the aisle forget that we aren't the laboratories for innovations, but the states are. We will give them more opportunity for change and innovation and will end up with a better program that protects more people.

"I urge my colleagues to support this budget. We know we are on an unsustainable path. Mr. Ryan has offered us an alternative. Sadly, my friends on the other side of the aisle and the president of the united states have not."