Landrieu Urges Senate Colleagues to Vote Against Resolution that Would Harm Key Domestic Priorities
House Plan Would Put Education, Transportation and Health Programs on Chopping Block to Fund Disaster Relief
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today urged her colleagues to vote against a resolution that would require harmful cuts to domestic priorities-including health, transportation and education-to fund aid to communities hit by natural disasters. Sen. Landrieu argued that House Concurrent Resolution (HCONRES) 94 would establish a dangerous and destructive precedent and violate provisions within the bipartisan Budget Control Act, which was approved by both chambers earlier this year.
Sen. Landrieu made the comments today after the House passed HCONRES 94 on a mostly party-line vote. The full Senate is expected to consider the measure tomorrow alongside legislation to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2012.
"We made a bipartisan agreement in August because we recognized that there is a real cost associated with disaster recovery. It is a cost that can't always be anticipated because natural disasters, by their very nature, are highly unpredictable. But House Republicans are once again trying to go back on that agreement by requiring that agreed-upon funding be offset with additional across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending," Sen. Landrieu said. "We have already cut domestic discretionary spending by 8 percent below FY10 levels. This measure not only violates the Budget Control Act that we reached by bipartisan agreement last August, it is also another excuse by House Republicans to make ideological cuts under the guise of fiscal responsibility."
Watch highlights of Sen. Landrieu's speech.
Among the cuts that would occur if the Senate passes HCR 94 are:
o $265 million cut to Title I education funding. Almost 1,000 schools serving more than 350,000 disadvantaged students could lose funding. And about 3,700 teachers and aides could lose their jobs.
o $199 million slashed from special education funding that could lead to the loss of 2,600 education staff serving special needs students.
o $146 million cut to Head Start funding, which would eliminate 11,000 low-income students and their families from this critical program.
o $15 million cut to the Senior Nutrition Program, which means 2 million fewer meals to needy seniors.
o A reduction of 400 Border Patrol agents, nearly half the number hired and trained since Congress enacted the border security supplemental 16 months ago.
o 161,000 fewer women, infants and children would receive food assistance under the WIC program.
Sen. Landrieu continued: "Instead of being really serious about closing the budget gap and putting new revenues on the table or saying across-the-board cuts for everything, House Republicans continue to use everything, even disasters, to put politics over people."