Joe Garcia, Carlos Curbelo Clash Over Federal Budget

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: April 15, 2014 3:55 AM
Carlos Curbelo and Joe Garcia

Carlos Curbelo and Joe Garcia

As U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., gears up to run for a second term in Congress, the federal budget has taken center stage as he faces a major Republican opponent in Miami Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo. 

Calling it a “legislative disaster," Garcia went on the attack on Monday, trashing the federal budget crafted by U.S. Rep. Paul, R-Wis., and which passed the U.S. House last week. Garcia insisted Ryan’s proposal was “full of cuts to programs the middle class and our seniors depend on” and insisted the Democratic-controlled Senate needed to “stand up to Paul Ryan and his reckless plan.”

On Thursday, after the House passed the budget, Garcia weighed in on why he voted against it.

“Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a reckless and irresponsible vision that fails our citizens,” Garcia insisted. “It places priorities in all the wrong places, making cuts to programs like Medicare, for example, completely disregarding the needs of our nation. The proposed budget would cut billions out of Medicare, reopen the prescription drug donut hole and turn Medicare into a voucher program. Instead of supporting and protecting our nation’s elders, the Ryan budget chooses to implement policies that place severe financial burdens on seniors by shifting costs onto them, eliminating critical care programs, and making affordable health care a thing of the past. I oppose this budget and will continue to fight its irresponsible cuts to Medicare.”

But Curbelo has also made the budget part of his arsenal in recent days, hitting Garcia last week for backing the Democratic alternative to Ryan’s proposal. As he hit Garcia for backing it, Curbelo insisted the congressman was lining up with U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on the matter.

"The budget proposed by House Democrats never balances, raises taxes by $1.5 trillion on the American people, and insists on Obamacare’s drastic cuts to Medicare,” Curbelo said. “Instead of supporting common-sense fiscal policies, Joe Garcia continues to take his marching orders from Nancy Pelosi and other Washington liberals. The most unfortunate part of the Pelosi-Garcia budget is that it continues piling debt on my generation and on my daughters' generation. It's time for Washington to implement sound fiscal policies that will encourage job creation and economic competitiveness."

Curbelo faces a crowded Republican primary but he is the favorite to emerge in August and challenge Garcia in November. Other Republican candidates in the mix include Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall, former Miami-Dade County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, attorney Lorenzo Paolmares-Starbuck and activist Jose Peixoto. After losing congressional bids in 2008 and 2010, Garcia defeated scandal-plagued then-U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., in 2012.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (1)

9:45PM APR 15TH 2014
Joe Martinez is our next congressman

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