Senate Democrats

How It’s Playing: Local Coverage Across The Country Slams Republicans’ Reckless Spending Bill

Local papers from coast to coast are exposing the devastating impact the GOP’s extreme spending plan would have on their communities.  Republicans should get outside of the Beltway and listen to what the voices back home are demanding: a budget that strengthens, rather than cripples, our local economies.


Billings Gazette Editorial: Congress must fund Billings VA Clinic. “With well over 100,000 veterans here and 36,000 enrolled for VA services, the potential for more demand is tremendous. Most the Montana veterans enrolled with the VA have service-connected disabilities. Montana must be ready to serve those who have served our country. As reported previously by The Gazette, Tester noted recently that Republicans in the U.S. House were considering cutting $278 million from the overall VA construction budget. We call on Montana’s sole U.S. House member, Republican Denny Rehberg, to ensure that the proposed VA construction budget isn’t reduced in the House. We call on Tester and U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to fight for the budget that includes the Billings VA expansion.” LINK

Vancouver Columbian: Budget cuts may cost ports $10M. “Fallout from the congressional budget showdown may cost the Port of Vancouver $10 million in federal funding for a rail improvement project intended to attract new industrial development. […] Larry Paulson, the port’s executive director, raised the issue in a letter sent last week to members of the state’s congressional delegation. ‘This action would likely result in significant loss of anticipated jobs, which are needed to help the Southwest Washington region to recover from our country’s long recession,’ Paulson wrote.” LINK

Tri-City Herald: House budget could mean lost jobs for PNNL. “Pacific Northwest National Laboratory employees have been warned that 100 to 600 jobs could be lost under the budget passed by the Republican-controlled House for the remainder of the fiscal year. […] The local impact to PNNL would hurt, [PNNL Director Mike] Kluse said. But the larger impact would be to the nation at a time it needs to make a full-court press on developing alternative fuels, methods of capturing and storing energy and cleaner ways to burn hydrocarbons, he said. ‘It’s a very unfortunate time not to sustain stable funding,’ he said.” LINK

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Sonoma County health clinics fear federal cuts. “Community health centersin Sonoma County and across the state are bracing for federalfunding cuts, with millions at stake in congressional budget deliberations.  ‘Everybody’s very worried,’ said Naomi Fuchs, chief executive officer of Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, a network of eight clinics that serves 34,000 patients. ‘We hope the funding is restored.’ […] Statewide, the loss would deal a ‘crippling blow’ to efforts to boost clinic capacity incorporated in the health care overhaul, said Carmela Castellano-Garcia, president and CEO of California Primary Care Association. LINK

Las Vegas Sun: GOP fights funding for vital Nevada renewable projects. “Since it was officially announced in late 2009, the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project in Tonopah has been one of Nevada’s flagship commercial renewable energy projects. […] But the whole enterprise depends on federally backed loans that House Republicans marked for the chopping block in the budget they passed two Saturdays ago. […] ‘It’s U.S. technology and U.S. jobs — it would just be ridiculous for the U.S. government to clip its wings at the last minute,’ [said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve].” LINK


Chicago Tribune Op-Ed: Science budget cuts threaten high tech jobs, future frontiers. “In these tight economic times, people of all political stripes agree that America needs more good jobs, especially in the economically vital areas of science and engineering. Yet thousands of high-tech jobs in the Chicago area would be lost if lawmakers enact science budget cuts now being considered in Washington. Losing these jobs would create a ripple effect in our local economy. Beyond that, the loss of innovative projects and young scientists to other countries could hamper America’s global competitiveness for decades to come.” LINK

Quad City Times: Jobs program faces shutdown, advocates say. “Chuck Stewart, director of the Partners in Job Training and Placement office, said Thursday the [House] cuts would shut his office down. ‘We wouldn’t be open six weeks after July 1,’ he said. ‘I doubt we’d last six weeks.’ Stewart’s office helps laid off workers get retraining and assists them, as well as young people, find jobs. The office also is preparing to help up to about 400 Rock Island Arsenal workers who are expected to stay in the Quad-Cities when the TACOM office on the island moves its operations to Detroit later this year. The move was required by the 2005 base closing process. ‘What concerns me is we’re cutting a jobs program during a recession,’ Stewart said Thursday.” LINK

Dayton Daily News: Federal budget cuts would close Ohio’s poison control centers. “One or more of the three poison centers in Ohio could be forced to close as part of a sweeping bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to slash federal funding across the country. […]About 90 percent of people who call the Central Ohio Poison Center’s hot line in Columbus do not need medical treatment and are told to stay home, instead of making unnecessary emergency room visits and spending millions of dollars on medical costs, said David Baker, the center’s managing director. ‘If we can give someone that knowledge and make that assessment, we can basically save $7 for every $1 that is invested in poison control centers,’ Baker said.” LINK


The New London Day Editorial: Understand effects before making cuts. “There is a cautionary tale in the news that recent cuts in federal spending could derail a much ballyhooed supportive housing project for veterans in Jewett City. In the works for years, the endeavor would transform the LaFlamme-Kusek American Legion Post 15 building into housing units for homeless veterans. After fits and starts and twists and turns, the $6 million project is finally nearing realization. Or at least that’s what everyone thought until House Republicans OK’d $61 billion in budget cuts last week, including about $75 million used as rental assistance for homeless veterans and to help pay for their case management and clinical services. […] While Congress must slow the growth in federal spending, lawmakers must first do their homework before deciding how to go about it.” LINK

Frederick News-Post: Proposed Pell Grant cuts would slash 15 percent. “Nine hundred dollars. It doesn’t sound like a large sum of money, relatively speaking, but Vanessa Morris said it is all that stands between her being a college student or not. Morris, a business administration major at Frederick Community College, received $900 this semester through the federal Pell Grants program that provides financial assistance to college students. But if a spending resolution passed by the House of Representatives becomes law, the Pell Grant program is in for deep cuts.” LINK

Wheeling News-Register: Head Start cuts were ‘painful.’ “David Murphy said votes by Congressman David McKinley and fellow House Republicans to cut $61 billion from the federal budget may cost Murphy’s children a chance to go to Head Start. […] Murphy said he has been unemployed for more than a year now, noting that he and his wife, Irene Gonzalez, are back in school at West Virginia University and West Liberty University, respectively. Murphy and Gonzalez said the federal Head Start program provides affordable day care and educational opportunities for their young children, 4-year-old Jacob and 22-month-old Irenita. ‘I know there are things they need to cut, but cutting out Head Start is not the answer,’ Murphy said.” LINK


Birmingham News Editorial: Cut NIH, hurt UAB. “Federal funding, much of it from the NIH, fuels UAB as a top-tier academic research center. When there’s more of it, the grants create more jobs for research staff and support personnel, who put more money into the local economy. […] Obama has proposed increasing the NIH budget, which is a little more than $31 billion, as part of his effort to invest in research and technology. But House Republicans want to carve a $1 billion chunk out of the NIH budget. […] In a federal government that this year is spending $3.8 trillion, there are other places to find $1 billion to cut. Let’s hope Congress, for UAB’s and Birmingham’s sake, finds them.” LINK

Oklahoma City Journal Record: Community health centers face loss of federal money. “The prospect of Oklahoma’s community health centers losing $5.5 million in federalmoney has their leaders and supporters worried about the future of a program that has been making significant headway. U.S. House lawmakers approved a continuing resolution that proposes cutting $1.3 billion for community health centers from the president’s fiscal year 2011 request. […] ‘I’m all about accountability, but not elimination. These communitieshave worked so hard putting together projects that will address their unmet health needs, and they may not have the chance to see that through. Patient outcomes will continue to be poor as a result,’ [said Judy Grant, director of communitydevelopment for the Oklahoma Primary Care Association].” LINK

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Job training in crossfire of deficit battles. “Carol Mullins is all for putting the nation’s fiscal house in order. But something else tops the Tyrone widow’s Washington wish list: A job. […] Mullins hopes her fortunes turn with the help of a federal job-training program that proponents say leads to full-time work for three of every four participants. She is wrapping up five months of computer training. IT is one of the state’s hottest growth industries. Congress, though, is considering killing the $3.6 billion job training and assistance program. […]President Barack Obama’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget cuts 5 percent from the U.S. Labor Department’s budget but maintains WIA funding. The House budget calls for zeroing-out all WIA money.” LINK

Dallas Morning News Blog: Conservative budget irony. “Reading about Republican plans to hack the federal budget to pieces, I was particularly struck by the suggestion that Congress cut $272 million in border security and immigration enforcement. Border issues were fresh on my mind since I recently listened to a federal-government-bashing Rick Perry give a dramatic, finger-wagging speech in Washington about how the federal government needs to be sending more border agents to Texas. Well, if the budget is slashed as planned, it would cut the number of agents patrolling the Mexican border from 21,370 to 20,500. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Governor. Less Washington isn’t always a good thing.” LINK