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STATEMENT OF SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA) ON THE PRESIDENT’S BUDGET
D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today released the following statement
on the President’s 2007 Budget.
reminds us that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Just last week,
the Senate passed another $70 billion in tax breaks, largely for the
wealthy. And today, the bill came due, to be paid by seniors on fixed
incomes, the working poor, people with disabilities, and public school
children,” Harkin said.
slashes resources for exactly the priorities we should be supporting:
groundbreaking medical research, health care for our seniors, and
education for our kids.”
“A budget is a
document, and the President’s budget flunks the most basic moral test.
It calls for literally hundreds of billions in additional tax cuts,
with the lion’s share going to those making more than $1 million a
year. And it calls for deep cuts to programs that our most vulnerable
citizens depend on for their very survival.”
Medicare Slashed by
Billion: These deep cuts will compromise hospital care, home health
care, lab tests, and other Medicare services for Iowa seniors and
people with disabilities. Iowa’s Medicare providers already rank at the
bottom for Medicare reimbursement and the Bush budget will make the
problem even worse.
Cuts in 26 Years: The President’s Budget calls for a $2.1 billion cut
to education—the largest in history. The President substantially
underfunds the No Child Left Behind Act, leaving behind 3.7 million
students who could be fully served by Title I if the program were
funded at the level he promised. It shortchanges students with
disabilities by providing a smaller share of states’ total costs for
special education for the second year in a row. In addition, the
President eliminates all vocational education programs.
Cord Blood Stem
Eliminated: The President’s Budget eliminates all funding for the Cord
Blood Stem Cell Bank, an initiative that the President and the
Republican leadership themselves touted in December. Harkin has secured
funding for the Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank through the Labor HHS
Appropriations subcommittee for several years.
Cuts to 18 of the
Institutes at the National Institutes of Health (NIH): The President’s
budget would cut funding for 18 of the 19 institutes at NIH. Funds for
the National Cancer Institute would drop by $40 million, and funds for
the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute would drop by $21
Cuts to Initiatives
Serve the Most Vulnerable: The President’s budget eliminates already
inadequate funding for the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and
slashes resources for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) by $500
million. These initiatives provide critical aid to states to ensure the
availability of services for low-income children and families, the
disabled and elderly.
Deep Cuts to Iowa
Enforcement: Once again the President eliminated critical funding for
local law enforcement, slashing the Office of Justice Programs budget
by more than $1 billion. After sustaining massive cuts in each of the
last three years– including a 42 percent cut in Iowa last year– the
Byrne Justice Assistance Grant and the COPS programs are eliminated.
The budget also once again targets the High Intensity Drug Program,
redirecting funding away from the Midwest to the Border States. This
program pays for highway interdiction of drug trafficking in Iowa as
well as federal drug prosecutors.
Rural Communities: The Bush budget calls for deep cuts to farm bill
initiatives the President has touted and fails to follow through on his
State of the Union call to invest in renewable fuels. The Budget would
drain federal spending from rural America by scaling back investment in
farm income by 5 percent with additional cuts in conservation,
renewable energy, broadband loans and agricultural research. This comes
at the same time that farm income declined by 16 percent adjusted for
inflation last year and farmers are confronting continued skyrocketing
fuel and fertilizer costs.