Tom Harkin - U.S. Seante

Home >> News



WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today called on the Senate to reject legislation passed in a flurry of late night activity in the House of Representatives. House Republicans waited until the middle of the night Sunday to order deep cuts to health-care initiatives, student loans and farm programs, pave the way for drilling in the Artic Refuge, and sneak through blanket protections for the pharmaceutical industry.

“It’s no accident these votes occurred in the dead of night,” Harkin said. “There are only 6 days until Christmas. Throughout much of the world, it’s the season of giving. But here in Congress, it’s the season of taking away – taking away education programs, taking away job training, taking away health care from low income families, taking away from farmers and rural communities. And worst of all, taking away hope. This is a cruel holiday surprise for American families, and I hope that the Senate will reject it.”

LOW-LIGHTS OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS’ LATE NIGHT SESSION: A One-Percent Across-the-Board Cut in spending resulting in:

— $68 million cut to Head Start — eliminating funding for approximately 9,400 kids.

— $18 million cut to Community Health Centers— preventing 28 new clinics from opening their doors, affecting 37,000 patients nationwide

— $7 million cut to Meals on Wheels– resulting in 1.6 million fewer meals for the elderly

— $28 million cut to Title I Education funding for low income children—leaving 160,000 needy children behind

— $7 million cut to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)– forcing state and local governments to foot a bigger bill to meet special education needs

— $1.3 million cut from Organ Transplantation– preventing 1,700 transplants next year

— $5.9 million cut from the national Cord Blood Bank—reducing collection of life-saving cord blood donations by 3,900 units

— $10 million cut from Afterschool Centers – taking programs away from more than 13,000 disadvantaged students

— $139 million cuts to Rural Health Initiatives

Changes in the Medicaid program forcing low income beneficiaries to pay more out pocket for health care

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Broad Liability Protections for Drug Companies, without the possibility of review by the courts, and without adequate safeguards or compensation for individuals injured by vaccines and other products.

Deep Cuts in Agriculture and Rural Development including:

— $949 million in cuts to Agricultural Conservation.

— $399 million cut in Rural Development

— $620 million in Agricultural Research

Paid for and authorized by Citizens for Harkin