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Read More About How the 2006 Budget Is Bad for Women
Budget Battle Continues With Bush's 2007 Proposed Budget
The budget battle continues...President Bush's budget proposal for 2007 continues attacks on programs and services to our struggling families.
The House budget committee will be meeting in the weeks ahead to address the president's budget proposal for fiscal year 2007. They may write their own bill and reject many of the cuts found in his recommendations or they may rubberstamp this gruesome scheme. Anti-poverty and economic justice advocates need to let them know that we are watching. It is not too early to register your horror at this ongoing effort to shred our country's safety net.
Contact Congress now, and spread the word with your members and coalition partners in your community and across your state.
The ink was barely dry on the harsh 2006 Budget Reconciliation Act, passed on February 1, 216 to 214, when the next barrage of budget cuts and human needs program reductions hit Congress.
On February 6, 2006, the president sent his fiscal year 2007 (FY07) budget proposal to Congress that was simply a redux of the FY06 reconciliation boondoggle that ended in one of the closest votes in the history of Congressional budget votes. The FY07 budget outline is eerily similar to its predecessor in that it denies housing and food to thousands of low-income elderly persons, abandons day care for 400,000 kids of working parents, and sharply increases the Medicaid co-payments for the poorest members of society. At a time when the president stresses education and scientific research as the solution to our nation?s "competitiveness problem," the FY07 budget cuts spending on secondary school education, freezes necessary Pell grants for low-income college students, and slashes research for cancer, diabetes and heart disease. These disgraceful cuts accompany a budget that proposes grossly disproportionate tax cuts for the country?s wealthiest people and omits crucial information on estimating the impact of war spending and tax breaks for the affluent.
Targets of proposed budget cuts:
- Women - The FY07 budget also cuts $35 million from domestic
violence programs supporting law enforcement and assisting victims of stalking,
rape and assault and fails to fund programs 21 newly enacted under the 2005
Violence Against Women Act. The budget also cuts incentives, loan opportunities,
and grants for female entrepreneurs interested in starting a small business.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has suffered freezes and cuts in many
of the programs most helpful to women looking to enhance their position by
starting a new business. In addition, the president is pursuing $695 million
in job training cuts, which harms working mothers and young women entering
the work force.
- Working parents - As the president claims to increase economic
opportunities, his budget slashes child care for low- and moderate-income
families $1 billion over five years adjusted for inflation. This leaves 400,000
kids without day care while their parents earn just enough to get by.
- Elderly - This budget contains a staggering $105 billion
in Medicare cuts over ten years. While the president protects special interests
such as HMOs and pharmaceutical companies, upwards of 40 million seniors and
people with disabilities will be left with soaring bills to make up the difference.
Medicare cuts are just the beginning. FY07 also spells the end of the Social
Security death benefit, used by many to defray funeral costs. Also, the Commodity
Supplemental Food Program that provides 400,000 low-income elderly people
with foodstuffs, is completely cut.
- Minorities - The budget dumps the TRIO Talent Search program,
a program that aids universities in assisting thousands of minority high school
students get academic and career counseling to better enable them to finish
high school and go onto college.
- Poor - After FY06s nearly $7 billion in Medicaid cuts,
the Bush Administration continues to hack away at programs that sustain our
nations poorest. 50 million Medicaid beneficiaries will have services slashed
and co-payments increased in the FY07 budget, adding up to $17 billion in
Medicaid cuts over five years.
- Students - At a time when the president wants to increase
our country?s competitiveness and education is heralded as a bedrock for this
effort, his FY07 budget cuts student loan subsidies for those most in need
of help. As tuition at even the most affordable colleges soars, the president
wants to freeze Pell Grants to low-income students. In addition, the budget
proposes eliminating federally subsidized Perkins loans that were designed
to help low-income families afford college at reasonable loan rates. Secondary
school students don't avoid the draconian cuts either. The Department of Education
budget falls nearly 4% in FY07. This is in addition to extra cuts in No Child
Left Behind, the president's signature education bill.
- Medical research - In a setback for our scientific and
medical leadership, the president's budget cuts funding for the National Institutes
of Health (NIH) for the first time in over 35 years. Research for cancer,
heart disease and diabetes is conducted by these critical agencies. Also when
natural disease outbreaks such as avian flu are being identified as emerging
threats to our health, funding for health promotion and preventative health
services earns a $99 million cut, along with the $276 million cut from the
Centers for Diseases Control budget. Contact your Representative and make
sure your voice is heard at the beginning of this debate (Capwiz see below)
Take Action Now!