Titus Outlines District One's Budget Priorities for FY2014

Mar 6, 2013
Press Release

March 5, 2013

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Dina Titus of Nevada’s First District testified in front of the House Budget Committee today on District One’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2014. Below are her remarks:

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member. I want to also thank Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Van Hollen for holding this hearing and for their hard work to resolve our nation’s fiscal challenges.

“It is important we remember that the federal budget is more than a theoretical document that is only debated in Washington, with no impact on families throughout the United States.

“Instead the federal budget is a blueprint for our nation’s future; it is a statement of our national priorities. Our budget should be a path forward for a strong middle class and jobs for every person who is looking for a chance at the American Dream. 

“The choices we make determine if a family in Las Vegas is living paycheck to paycheck, or saving money for their children’s education.

“Our budget determines if states like Nevada will become the Saudi Arabia of solar power, and home to thousands of clean energy jobs that cannot be outsourced. Or, if we will continue to rely on fossil fuels that harm our environment and create jobs overseas instead of here at home.

“Accordingly, I want to take the few minutes I have today to highlight what I believe should be the pillars of our budget.

“First, we must be clear that we will preserve and protect Medicare and Social Security. We cannot change these programs in any way that will break the safety net that has sustained the most vulnerable in our society.

“I do not support raising the retirement age for Social Security recipients because I do not feel it is fair to ask a construction worker building the next great resort on the Las Vegas Strip to work two more years in the blazing sun so we can protect tax breaks for billionaires.

“And, I will not support turning Medicare into a voucher program because I do not think it is fair to ask a senior in District One to choose between medicines and food so we can continue to provide tax breaks for  Big Oil.

“Second, our budget should be a serious investment in our nation’s ability to compete well into the 21st Century.

“The Silver State is also the Solar State, with more than 300 sunny days a year. The development of this renewable energy source is smart policy in a number of ways.

“Congress should continue supporting funding for our State Energy Programs which leverage funds in support of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency programs.

“Our budget should preserve the Solar Investment Tax Credit which is particularly important to developing large solar projects.  The extension of the ITC will give the solar industry the long-term certainty that is so vital to any business sector.

“We should make investments in infrastructure and energy efficiency by continuing incentives for utilizing green building practices. We should also prioritize reducing energy usage in older construction with retrofit programs for office buildings, retail stores, schools, and homes.

“When it comes to building an economy geared toward middle class growth, it is essential that we invest in our critical infrastructure and transportation systems. Our roads, railroads, and airports are central to America’s economic success, and we must make them a priority.

“Congress must continue to support the FAA’s NextGen implementation that is at the heart of modernizing our air traffic control system. It will lead to increased safety for the flying public while also reducing fuel costs and increasing efficiency for our airlines. 

“Our railroad infrastructure also remains critical to our economy. I believe that development of high speed rail is a challenge we must take on. Congress must work with private industry and the states to advance high speed rail projects that hold so much promise for job creation and economic success.

“In the end, the most crucial investment we can make for the future of our nation is in the next generation of Americans. We must make education a top priority, and give our children the skills and training they need to be the innovators of the future.

“In short, we cannot afford to be penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to supporting education, and research and development.

“Again, thank you for your attention. I look forward to working with you and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to produce a budget that takes a balanced approach to improving our economy and investing in our nation’s future.”