Schakowsky Blasts Announcement of Republican Spending Cuts
$100 billion in cuts would be devastating to low-income and middle class Americans
WASHINGTON, DC (February 11, 2011) –Rep. Jan Schakowsky’s issued the following statement in response to last night’s announcement by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers that his committee will see $100 billion in spending cuts (from the President’s fiscal year 2011 budget request) in the upcoming Continuing Resolution.
“House Republicans’ proposals to slash federal spending programs are irresponsible and indiscriminate, eliminating programs that create jobs and cutting assistance for low-income and middle-class families. Once again, they are showing their utter disregard for the shrinking middle class and those who aspire to it.
“With their scorched earth approach to federal spending, the Republicans completely disregard a fact that economists of all stripes know: investments result in deficit reduction and job creation. Unbelievably, they cannot see past their goals of smaller numbers and smaller government. But their slash and burn cuts would cause a devastating wave of unemployment at the state and local level, particularly in the public sector. They plan to end funding that supports workers – including teachers, police and firefighters – who provide critical, highly-valued services in their communities.
“Over the last two years, the Democratic Congress and President Obama were successfully able to stave off a second Great Depression. But we are still in the early stages of recovery, unemployment is at 9 percent, and American families are still suffering. The proposed cuts would be devastating to our recovery and harmful to Americans trying to take care of their families and make ends meet.
“Among Republicans’ proposed cuts, announced earlier this week: The National Institutes of Health would see a cut of $1 billion, funding which goes to vital medical research, including into cures and improved treatments for devastating diseases. High speed rail development - which would provide desperately-needed jobs throughout the country and reinvigorate a keystone of America’s infrastructure system – faces a cut of $1 billion in funding.
“But they don’t just slash important jobs programs; Republicans also put assistance for poor families on the cutting board. They would dock $1.3 billion in funding for Community Health Centers -- the only access to health care for many families. They propose to cut $400 million from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, in the middle of one of the harshest winters ever, leaving low-income seniors and families out in the cold. They propose taking $758 million from the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, which provides food assistance for low-income pregnant women and children under five. The 300,000 beneficiaries in my state of Illinois receive an average benefit of just $44.62 a month per person – a minimal, but incredibly meaningful subsidy for families.
“There is another way.
“We must focus on creating jobs and addressing our fiscal challenges in a way that sets us on a steady path to economic growth and shared prosperity. We need to enact the Democratic initiative to Make It in America, providing incentives that encourage companies to stop off-shoring jobs.
“I offered a plan last year as part of President Obama’s 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that gets us out of the economic doldrums, boosts job creation, and reduces the deficit without doing it on the backs of low income and middle class Americans.
“I will fight to stop their woefully misguided proposals and to work with my Democratic colleagues to promote real answers that will ensure a full economic recovery and restore the American Dream.”