Kerry said funding these projects is what led to strong economic growth in the 1990s, and similar choices must be made this time around in order to repeat that performance. "The truth of how we generated the 1990s economic boom is a story that has to be retold again and again," he said.

"Do we want a government that is too limited to have invented the Internet?" Kerry asked, a question he also posed in January. Kerry said the government developed the Internet while doing research on how to communicate during a nuclear war, and that it was revolutionized by private industry. "And we want to have a country that government doesn't do those sorts of things?" he asked.

Kerry sharply criticized the budget process or FY 2011, and said it's "insulting and it's frustrating that we're reduced to passing incremental allowances just to keep the government functioning." He said Congress needs to return to a longer-term process that allows a more thoughtful consideration of spending levels for all line items, not just discretionary non-security spending.

But he was even more critical of the plan House Republicans have put together. He referred to H.R. 1 as an "unbelievable, reckless, meat-axe, hatchet budget," and said it is rife with many ideological budget cuts. "This is not the time to create a fundamentally political budget document steeped in ideology," Kerry said.