U.S. Senate To Consider Budget Bill Which Makes Dramatic Cuts In Essential Services
H.R. 1, AS PASSED BY THE US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, IS BAD FOR THE ECONOMY, BAD FOR STUDENTS, BAD FOR HEALTH CARE AND BAD FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT, AMONG OTHERS
February 19, 2011, the House of Representatives passed, by a margin of 235 – 189 H.R. 1, a bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. Fiscal year 2011, which began October 1, 2010, had been running on a “continuing resolution”, which essentially funds federal programs at 2010 levels, and is set to expire on March 4, 2011 (they subsequently extended the CR through March 18, 2011 thus avoiding a federal government shutdown, temporarily at least). The NAACP is vociferously opposed H.R. 1, as it cuts essential services to low-and middle-income Americans and eliminates necessary investments in our nation’s human capital, our infrastructure, and the next generation of scientific and technological advances. The bill also leaves in place tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, corporate subsidies that encourage shipping jobs overseas and billions in subsidies for select multinational companies. A new report found that the cuts in H.R. 1 could cut economic growth for the remainder of 2011 in half. The Senate is expected to begin consideration of H.R. 1 this week.
The final bill cuts $61.5 billion from fiscal year 2011 spending. Specific cuts include (but are not limited to):
- Cuts to Head Start early childhood education funding which will result in more than 200,000 low-income children and families being cut from the rolls and more than 1,600 Head Start and Early Start centers across the country being closed;
- Cuts to the Pell Grant program for low- and middle-income college students which would result in the maximum award being reduced by $845, or more than 15%;
- Cuts to job training programs by $3 billion, which would, among other things, eliminate most youth summer jobs programs;
- It bars any funds from being used to implement the new NAACP-supported Health Care law;
- Cuts law enforcement grants by $1.4 billion, including grants to the juvenile justice system;
- Slashes funding to the EPA to protect the air we breathe and the water we drink;
- It bars any federal funds from going to any Planned Parenthood affiliate for any service (the federal government already has a ban on funding abortions), which would result in the denial of essential health care services to more than 3 million American women and children;
- Dramatically reduce funding for the nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which was established by the NAACP-supported Financial Reform bill which was signed into law last year;
- Cuts $1.7 billion from life-saving international humanitarian aid programs which aid the poor and suffering in Africa and the Caribbean, among other places;
- Cuts the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which protects the safety of workers, to such an extent that the entire agency would be forced to close for up to 3 months.
THE NAACP IS OPPOSED TO H.R. 1 AS PASSED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. WE MUST NOW URGE THE UNITED STATES SENATE TO REJECT THE HOUSE BILL.