608 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C.— Yesterday,  Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing on the impact of federal investments on families, communities and long-term and broad-based economic growth.  The hearing covered the importance of smart investments in our future prosperity that come from investing in people through education and job training; developing and repairing our national infrastructure; and investing in research and development to boost innovation and national competitiveness.  This hearing came days before automatic cuts from sequestration are scheduled to slash federal investments across-the-board. 

Key excerpts from Murray’s opening statement

There’s no question getting our debt and deficit under control is a challenge we have to confront. But we have many other challenges we can’t ignore. We need to repair our crumbling roads, bridges and highways. We need to ensure our students receive an education that offers them the opportunities they deserve, and ensures our nation has a skilled workforce for the 21st century.  And we need to fight to maintain our edge in research and innovation, because the next Apple, Microsoft or Google should be started right here in the U.S.” 

The fact is that if we slash our investments in infrastructure like roads and bridges, we aren’t really saving money at all.  We are making things worse. We are weakening our basis for private investment and economic growth, we are putting public safety at risk, and congestion is taxing families’ time with painfully long commutes and health-threatening pollution. 

 

When we slash investments in our schools, Pell Grants, or worker training programs, we increase our skills and education deficit.  This isn’t good for our students and workers, and it is devastating for our economy over the long term.  Investments in education, from early childhood programs through college, are some of the smartest the federal government can make." 

We simply can’t expect our economy to grow in a way that creates broad-based prosperity if we continue allowing our skills and education deficit to increase. If our businesses are going to be creating 21st century jobs, we need our students and workers to have 21st century skills..”

"I believe smart federal investments will create jobs and help the middle class right now, they will help lay down a strong foundation for long-term and broad based economic growth and they will help position our country and our economy to compete and win in the 21st century global economy."

" I am hopeful that the bipartisan work can continue to make sure we leave our children a stronger country than the one we received. And I am looking forward to engaging the American public in this debate that is so central to their economic future."

Text of Senator Murray's Opening Statement

Video of Senator Murray's Opening Statement

Archived Webcast

Witness Statement