Today, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif) released the following statement regarding the House Republican Budget for FY2012.
“First of all, I’m disappointed the actions of the Republican leadership in the House will apparently lead Congress away from the issue at hand – growing our economy and creating jobs. We are, once again, a few days away from a government shutdown and Washington Republicans seem incapable of finishing this year’s budget and compromising for the good of the country. Clearly, we have to bring down our deficit and balance the federal budget, but we need to do it in a responsible way that ends wasteful spending, while ensuring our kids can always get a good education and our seniors can always get healthcare. We’ve already cut this year’s budget by over $50 billion and the President has already offered to meet the House Republicans halfway but they still seem uninterested in finding a good faith compromise and that’s very disappointing.
“As for next year’s budget, this is a very disappointing but not too surprising proposal. It is clear that we must take aggressive action to bring down the federal deficit. It is just as clear, however, that strengthening our economy, to meet the challenges and opportunities of the global economy, must also be a continuing priority. But that clearly is not the priority of House Republicans. For example, the Republican budget cuts education for our children, hurting their ability to compete in the 21st century workforce. It pulls the rug out from under investments in medical research, technology and clean energy, all efforts that create jobs now and ensure we are prepared to compete in the future. And it guts America’s ability to build the highways and transit systems to help our economy continue to recover.
“In addition, the Republican budget makes the wrong choices for many of the most vulnerable among us. For example, this budget ends Medicare as we know it, eliminating guaranteed benefits for seniors and turning the program into a voucher system. This will force seniors to fend for themselves on the private insurance market and, since the Republicans are also pushing to repeal health care reform, would guarantee seniors have no protection from the worst abuses of the health insurance industry. The budget also turns Medicaid into a block grant program, reducing support for seniors in nursing homes, low income children, and Americans with disabilities. To be clear, these proposals do nothing to reduce the growth of health care costs, they just shift the costs onto seniors, the disabled, low income people and state governments.
“Finally, the Republican budget finds no savings where we can find it most. It does nothing to root out waste in our tax system – like the tens of billions in subsidies for oil, gas and coal companies, or those that go to giant ethanol corporations. And it continues the tax cuts for the wealthiest among us as well, even as it calls for eliminating guaranteed benefits for seniors and the disabled, and slashing education for our kids. These are just the wrong priorities,” said Capps.
*Note: Two-thirds of Medicaid dollars nationally are spent on seniors and those with disabilities. Approximately one-third of Medicaid expenditures is to keep seniors in nursing homes.