Harkin Pushes BUDGET Amendment to Restore Health and Education Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA) will today introduce an amendment to the budget resolution to restore critical resources for key health, human services, education, and job training initiatives.  The President has slashed funding for these initiatives—funded each year through the Labor HHS Education Appropriations measure— over the past two years.  The President’s proposed FY07 Budget funds the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and Labor $7 billion less than two years ago, threatening initiatives that keep America competitive and provide a basic safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.  The Harkin-Specter amendment would add $7 billion to these departments, restoring funding to the FY05 levels.

“No Child Left Behind, the National Institutes of Health, rural health care and workforce training initiatives—the very things that keep American competitive and provide opportunities to those who need them most– are all on the chopping block in the President’s Budget,” said Harkin.  “The President chooses to prioritize tax cuts for the wealthy over initiatives that will help make education and health care more affordable for ordinary Americans.  These cuts don’t reflect Iowa values or even plain common sense, and I intend to fight them.”

The President’s Budget threatens key health care, education and job training initiatives including:

National Institutes of Health:  The President’s budget cuts funding for 18 of the 19 institutes at NIH.  Funding for cancer research would be cut by $40 million.

Human Services for the Poor:  The President’s budget cuts the Social Services Block Grant by $500 million and completely eliminates the Community Services Block Grant.

Education Programs:  The President’s budget eliminates 42 programs, including all the vocational and technical education programs, Educational Technology State Grants, GEAR UP, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants, TRIO Talent Search and Upward Bound.