Today, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) released a detailed outline of its alternative budget for FY 2018 that invests in programs and policies that will help African Americans and the rest of the nation achieve the American Dream. In addition to protecting social safety net programs and providing other pathways out of poverty, the CBC budget proposes to make the tax code fairer by closing loopholes for the wealthy, provide universal health care by adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and make college more affordable by reducing interest rates on student loans and investing in HBCU’s.
The CBC budget reduces the deficit by approximately $2.87 trillion over 10 years compared to CBO’s January 2017 baseline.
“You won’t find billion-dollar handouts for the wealthy and drastic cuts to domestic programs in our budget,” Congressman Richmond said. “A budget reflects priorities and our budget prioritizes improving the lives of Americans and their families by ensuring that they can go to the doctor when they’re sick, get a college degree if they want one, find a good job that pays a living wage, and pay a lower rate in taxes than President Trump. President Trump says he wants to make America great again; well, in order to do that, he’ll need a budget that makes economic sense for the African-American community and the rest of the nation.”
At the request of Chairman Richmond (D-La.), the CBC budget was developed by Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and former member of the House Budget Committee. Congressman Scott has been developing the CBC budget for the last decade and works with the Democratic staff of the House Budget Committee to finalize it.
“Based on what we’re learning about President Trump’s first budget, Americans of all races, colors and creeds should be concerned,” Congressman Scott said. “If the President is serious about moving the African-American community and the rest of the nation forward, he need only to look to the alternative budget developed by the CBC. Almost every year for the past three decades the CBC has developed a morally and fiscally responsible budget regardless of who occupies the White House or which party controls Congress. Our FY 2018 budget is no different. The CBC budget makes targeted investments in programs that support working families, students, seniors, and the most vulnerable in our communities. At the same time, the CBC budget actually improves the fiscal situation of our nation by reducing the deficit by nearly $2.9 trillion over the next decade.”
A summary of the CBC’s alternative budget is as follows:
* Fairer Tax Code - $3.9 trillion in new revenue
The CBC budget proposes a fairer tax code in order to meet the critical needs of the nation. Specifically, the CBC budget calls for $3.9 trillion in revenue enhancements over ten years and proposes repealing many tax provisions that favor the richest of the rich. With this additional revenue, the CBC proposes a $1 trillion investment over the next decade to rebuild our nation’s failing infrastructure and revitalize historically underserved communities, while employing millions of hardworking Americans in desperate need of job opportunities.
* Universal Health Care – approximately $23 billion over 10 years
The CBC budget proposes to expand and enhance the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to ensure universal health care for all Americans. Specifically, the CBC budget calls for the creation of a public health insurance option in the ACA health insurance exchanges, which saves an estimated $121 billion over 10 years.
* K-12/Higher Education - approximately $250 billion over 10 years
The CBC budget proposes to fully fund the Every Student Succeeds Act, the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and invest in making college more affordable and accessible. Specifically, the CBC budget invests in revitalizing HBCUs, reduces interest rates on federal student loans, increases the maximum Pell Grant award by $1,000, and ensures that no student graduates college saddled with unmanageable debt.