Opinion by Patricia L Johnson
Representative Hal Rogers (R-KY), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced a revised bill for FY 2011 with additional cuts.
Supposedly the additional cuts are due to demands by Tea Party freshman, but really…. what sort of demands can freshman representatives serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for only a few weeks exert over seasoned professional politicians?
The 1ST session of the 112th Congress didn’t begin until January 5. They were on a Republican retreat from the 13th to the 15th, they were off on the 17th for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and January 31 – February 4 was ‘Constituent Work Week’, yet by February 11th they know enough to demand more than $100 billion in spending cuts over the next seven months?
Whoever proposed these particular cuts needs to get out of the people’s business and go back where they came from.
At a time when unemployment is at the highest level in decades they want to cut 1397.4 [$1.4 billion] from Grants to States for Training and Employment Services, and 525.0 [$525 million] from community Service Employment for Older Americans.
At a time when more and more people are suffering from unknown illnesses, they want the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to cut 850.0 [$850 million] from their General Reduction funding.
At a time when parents are barely able to keep food on the table for their children the people that were voted in to control the U.S. House of Representatives want to cut 747.2 [$747 million] from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC).
At a time when single parents are struggling more than they ever have before, your U.S. House of Representatives want to reduce Low Income Home Energy Assistance by 390.3 [$390 million]and Head Start by 1083.0 [$1.1 billion].
No one has been left out in the cold on this one as they even want to reduce Military Construction, Veterans Affairs BRAC by 5100.0 [$5.1 billion], Minor Construction by 235.0 [$235 million] and Information Technology by 277.0 [$277 million].
Transportation, HUD – Project Based Rental Assistance is being hit with a 715.5 [$716 million] cut, National Infrastructure 600.0 [$600 million], FAA Facilities 422.2 [$422 million], FHWA General Fund 650.0 [$650 million], FTA, Capital Investment Grants 430.9 [$431 million], FRA, High Speed Rail 2500.0 [$2.5 billion], Public Housing Capital 1072.0 [$1.1 billion], Community Development Fund 2950.0 [$3.0 billion], and FRA, High Speed Rail from FY2010 2475.00 [$2.5 billion].
At a time when states want more funding to assist with the illegal immigrant problem in this country, these legislators want to cut 581.3 [$581 million]from State & Local Law Enforcement Assistance plus 350.0 [$350 million] from Customs and Border Protection – Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology.
At a time when more and more states are seeing tragedies unfold before them, this batch of new legislators want to take 783.3 [$783 million] from FEMA – State and Local Programs, as well as 510.0 [$510 million] in FEMA – Assistance to Firefighter Grants and 100.0 [$100 million] from FEMA – Emergency Food and Shelter.
At a time when millions of the citizens in the U.S. have no health care, these people want to reduce funding by 1000.0 [$1 billion] for Community Health Centers.
At a time when citizens in this country are not getting necessary mental health treatment [does the name Jared Loughner ring a bell?] they want to cut 200.0 [$200 million] from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
At a time when developing alternative energy resources should be first and foremost on our agenda, the new House wants to cut 441.0 [$441 million] from Construction, Corps of Engineers, 786.3 [$786 million] from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and 893.2 [$893 million] from Science.
At a time when the Internal Revenue Service needs all the help they can get collecting taxes from those that aren’t paying their fair share, the new House wants to cut 285.0 [$285 million] from Internal Revenue Service Enforcement and 227.0 [$227 million] from Operations Support.
And, let us not forget the 1410.0 [$1.4 billion] they want to cut from the EPA Clean Water SRF or the 557.0 [$557 million] from EPA Drinking Water SRF.
Are you ready to drink dirty water? Are you willing to have your children drink dirty water?
Do not forget that while these Republicans are busy proposing cuts to any and all domestic programs they recently refused to cut federal subsidies to oil companies.
I have two questions for the 112th U.S. House – (1) what will the impact of cutting more than $100 billion in funding over the next seven months due to our fragile economy and (2) when the government slashes all these programs and puts millions more out of work who is going to provide for their needs?
A complete listing of proposed cuts may be found by clicking the following link http://thehill.com/images/stories/news/2011/02_february/weekend021211/programcuts.pdf
©2011 Patricia L Johnson