|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FEBRUARY 7, 2005
|CONTACT: U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Nadeam Elshami, 202/226-6903
703/869-9020 (Cell Phone)
Schakowsky Calls Bush's Budget: "Weapon of Mass Destruction Aimed at Proven Programs that Improve Quality of Life for Low and Middle Income Americans"
CHICAGO, IL -- February 7 -- U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Chief Deputy Whip, voiced her resounding opposition to President Bush's Fiscal Year 2006 budget, adding that "millions of Americans should not stand for a President who puts tax cuts for the wealthy ahead of the needs of veterans, seniors, and the homeless."
"It is an outrage that President Bush would put the interests of millionaires ahead of the well-being of veterans, seniors, the poor, and the working class. By limiting the tax cuts to the first $200,000 in income, there would be an extra $19.2 billion in revenues, enough to avoid cuts in veterans health care, education, and environmental cleanup," Schakowsky said.
"President Bush has gone on the attack. The Bush budget is a weapon of mass destruction aimed squarely at true and proven programs that improve the quality of life for low and middle income Americans. This is a morally reprehensible budget that clearly demonstrates President Bush's lack of compassion, misplaced priorities, and warped values," Schakowsky added.
According to the Bush budget, discretionary, non-defense spending will be slashed by 1% (before adjusting for inflation), 150 programs will be reduced or eliminated, resulting in cuts of about $20 billion in 2006. For example, the Bush budget cuts:
In addition, Schakowsky added that the budget calls for a ten-year, $60 billion cut in Medicaid funding for the states. "This is going to jeopardize access to health care for pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities, as well as force drastic cuts in long-term care services at a time when people are losing coverage and costs are going up. This dramatic slash in funding will have a devastating impact on individuals' health and families' budgets," she added.
The Bush Administration's 2006 budget also doubles co-payments for prescription drugs for many veterans and adds a yearly payment of $250 for thousands of veterans wanting to enroll in the system. Generally, the budget adds more than $4 trillion to the deficit in the next 10 years, but that excludes the cost of the wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and how the President plans to pay for his radical plan to privatize Social Security that would cut guaranteed benefits by almost 50 percent.
"It is clear where President Bush stands - he is willing to sacrifice the needs of the many for the benefit of the few. Congress must now show the courage to act where the President has failed to lead," Schakowsky concluded.