Senate Democrats

DEMOCRATS CALL FOR BETTER BUDGET PRIORITIES

Washington, DC–Senator Tom Harkin today joined Americans endangered by President Bush’s new budget to call for better budget priorities. The President’s new budget contains massive cuts in funding for health care and for education, hurting people who need help the most to reward lobbyists and special interests. Fact sheets on the cuts are attached at the end of this release.

“This is just another example of President Bush’s misguided priorities,” said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of the proposed budget. “This immoral budget takes from the middle class to reward the wealthy, cutting essential health care and education services that matter enormously to regular Americans. America can do better than what the President is offering.”

“The President’s budget reminds us that there is no such thing as a free lunch,” said Harkin. “Just last week, the Senate passed another $70 billion in tax breaks, mostly for the wealthy. And yesterday, the bill came due, to be paid by seniors on fixed incomes, the working poor, people with disabilities, cancer patients, and public school children. The President’s budget slashes resources for exactly the priorities we should be supporting: groundbreaking medical research, health care for our seniors, and education for our kids.”

While Americans continue to pay record high prices for health care, the Bush budget deeply cuts funding for health services that make a difference in the lives of ordinary Americans: rural health programs, nursing programs and the National Institutes of Health. Stunningly, the Bush Administration has failed to meet it commitment to fund Avian Flu preparedness and is cutting funding from Bioterrorism training, endangering Americans. Worst of all, in the wake of the disastrous Prescription Drug Program, the budget even cuts funding for programs for our seniors.

The budget does just as much damage to the education of America’s children. In yet another example of his credibility gap, President Bush said he wanted to improve American education in his State of the Union, but has followed a week later with a budget that includes the largest cut in education spending in history, that under funds No Child Left Behind, that eliminates 42 education programs, and that freezes Pell Grants yet again.

“America can do better than an immoral and irresponsible budget, full of cuts that hurt ordinary Americans to allow the Administration to pay off wealthy and well connected special interests. Democrats stand ready to reform Washington to put the focus back on the needs of America’s families,” said Senator Reid.

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FY 2007 President’s Budget

for the Department of Health and Human Services

(prepared by staff for the Senate Minority LHHS Appropriations Committee)

BUSH CUTS MAJOR HEALTH SERVICES:

Bush Budget Slashes Health Care Services by $255 Million - $531 Million in Total Cuts. The Bush FY2007 budget cuts $255 overall from the Health Resources Services Administration and besides increases to two programs, the overall cuts total $531 million:

Rural Health programs are cut by $94 million. Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education is cut by $198 million or 67%. Poison Control Centers are cut by $10 million or 43% Title 8 Nursing programs are flat funded at $150 million 15 other programs are completely eliminated, including the Cord Blood Stem Cell Bank

Bush Fails to Meet his Avian Flu Commitment. The Bush budget includes just $352 million for pandemic influenza within the agency budget and only a $2.3 billion allowance for additional activities at HHS. This compares to the $3.32 billion that was passed in the FY2006 budget and less than the $8 billion that the Senate previously passed and the $7.1 billion that Bush previously outlined as necessary.

Bush Proposes Another Round of Cuts to the National Institutes of Health. On the heels of the first cut to NIH funding since 1970, the President has proposed level-funding this agency in FY07. The requested total of $28.3 billion is $62 million less than in FY05. The President’s budget would cut funding for 18 of the 19 institutes – all except the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Funding for the National Cancer Institute would drop by $40 million, and funding for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute would drop by $21 million.

Bush Eliminated the Preventive Health Services Block Grant at the Centers for Disease Control.

Bush Cuts Funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services by $72 Million.

Bush Cuts Funding for Seniors Programs. Bush cut $28 million for the Administration on Aging. This cut will eliminate Alzheimer Demonstration grants, Preventive Health Services for seniors and includes cuts to nutrition services.

Bush Cuts $9 Million from Bioterrorism Training and Flat Funds Hospital Preparedness. Bush cuts $9 million from Bioterrorism Training and Curriculum Development and flat funds the Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program.

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BUSH’S FY07 BUDGET REQUEST FOR EDUCATION

Feb. 6, 2006 – Senate Labor, HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Minority Staff

BUSH PROPOSES THE LARGEST CUTS IN FEDERAL EDUCATION HISTORY:

Bush Proposes the Largest Cut in Federal Education in History. The President’s FY07 budget proposes the largest cut to federal education funding in the 26-year history of the Education Department – a $2.1 billion reduction, for a total of $54.410 billion. If enacted, this would be a 3.8 percent cut below the comparable FY06 level of $56.553 billion. The budget eliminates 42 programs, including all the vocational and technical education programs, education technology state grants, GEAR UP, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants, TRIO Talent Search and Upward Bound.

Bush Underfunds No Child Left Behind by $15.4 Billion. For yet another year, Bush underfunds his No Child Left Behind initiative, this year by $15.4 billion. Under the President’s budget, NCLB funding would rise by $529 million, for a total of $24.0 billion, while the authorization level for FY07 rises by $2.6 billion, for a total of $39.4 billion. The cumulative funding shortfall for NCLB programs since enactment of the law would rise to $55.7 billion.

Bush’s Cuts to Title I Leave Behind 3.7 Million Students. Bush’s cut to Title I funding will leave behind 3.7 million students who could be fully served by Title I if the program were funded at the level promised by NCLB. The Bush budget freezes funding for Title I grants to LEAs at $12.7 billion, even though the authorization level rises by $2.25 billion, to $25 billion. This cut will cause 29 states to lose funding and another 7 to be flat funded. The Title I shortfall for FY07 would be $12.3 billion, and the cumulative shortfall since enactment of NCLB would rise to $43.7 billion.

Bush Underfunds Special Education. The Bush budget continues to retreat on its commitment to students with disabilities, proposing that, for the second year in a row, the federal government provide a smaller share of States’ total costs for special education. Funding for IDEA Part B State Grants would rise by $100 million, for a total of $10.7 billion. This would provide just 17 percent of the national average per-pupil expenditure toward meeting the excess costs of educating students with disabilities – less than half of the 40 percent “full funding” level that Congress committed to paying when the IDEA was first adopted 31 years ago. This is down from 18 percent in FY06 and 19 percent in FY05. The Bush budget also falls further below the authorized levels in the IDEA Improvement Act of 2004. The proposed level of $10.7 billion falls $6.3 billion short of the FY07 authorized level of $16.9 billion; the shortfall in FY06 was $4.1 billion.

Bush Cuts 2 Million Students from Afterschool Programs. The Bush budget leaves behind 2 million students who would receive afterschool services if the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program were funded at the level promised in NCLB. 21st Century funding would remain flat, at $981 million – $1.5 billion below the $2.5 billion authorized level for FY07.

Bush Eliminates 42 Programs: The Bush budget eliminates 42 programs, for a total of nearly $3.5 billion. The programs include: all the vocational education programs ($1.3 billion), ed tech state grants ($272 million), GEAR UP ($303 million), Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities State Grants ($346 million), selected TRIO programs ($456 million), Even Start ($99 million), and LEAP ($65 million).

Bush’s High School Reform Program Hides Additional Cuts. As he did last year, the Bush has proposed a high school reform package that would make formula grants to States to improve the performance of students who are most at risk of failing to meet State standards and to develop State reading and math assessments at two additional grades in high school. The $1.475 billion proposed for this program would be more than offset by the elimination of several programs it is designed to replace: Vocational and technical education ($1.3 billion), GEAR UP ($303 million), three TRIO programs -Talent Search ($145 million), Upward Bound ($278 million) and Upward Bound Math/Science ($33 million), and Smaller Learning Communities ($94 million). The programs targeted for elimination total $2.1 billion in FY06.

Bush Freezes Pell Grants Again. The Bush budget freezes the maximum Pell grant award at $4,050, the same level as in FY03, despite rising tuition costs. In 1975, the Pell Grant covered 80 percent of the cost of a four-year public college education. Today, that number is about 40 percent.

Bush Eliminates the Perkins Loan Program. The budget proposes eliminating the Perkins Loan program and recalling the Federal portion of revolving funds collected by participating institutions for a total of $664 million.

BUSH PROPOSES CUTS WILL ELIMINATE OPPORTUNITIES FOR AMERICANS:

Bush Proposes Major Cuts to Job Training. The budget includes a total of $8.4 billion for job training, a decrease of $819 million, or 8.9 percent. Job Corps is reduced by $55 million, or 3.5 percent. The budget once again includes a legislative proposal to consolidate the three job training programs and the Employment Service grants into a block grant to States. States would be required to use 75 percent of the block grant funds for a new voucher program called the Career Advancement Accounts. Only 22 percent ($751 million) of the remaining funds would be available to provide the current basic employment services.

Bush Eliminates Head Start for Many Poor Children. The budget level-funds Head Start at $6.79 billion. Given the need to provide cost-of-living adjustments to current grantees, the President’s budget will result in eliminating Head Start services for many poor children. The program currently serves only about one-half of the children eligible for the pre-school program, and much fewer in Early Head Start.

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