Chairman of the Black Congressional Congress, Emanuel Cleaver, II weighed in on the Republican leadership’s budget plan that ends Medicare while protecting tax breaks for special interests and the wealthiest Americans: “As we approach the 200th day in the United States House of Representatives with no real jobs legislation or solutions brought forth by the Republican Leadership, special interests are still taking precedent over the interests of the American people. Today, the House will consider H.R. 2560, the so-called “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” – which should be named the “Cut, Cap, and End Medicare Act”.
He continued to make his point by stating; “This bill is pure ideology of the Republican Leadership, serving only to end Medicare and enact extreme draconian spending cuts, while protecting tax breaks for special interests and the wealthiest of Americans. The bill incorporates the House Republican Study Committee Budget which I have described as being a ‘nervous breakdown on paper.’ It will end Medicare, and by requiring adoption of a radical Republican constitutional amendment, it will actually make it harder to balance our nation’s checkbook”.
“Nothing good can come from this legislation. The bill would abruptly cut over $100 billion in spending in the first year alone–cuts at a level that would slow down our nation’s GDP growth over the next two years. It would cut programs for the most vulnerable –food stamp benefits for a family of four by $1,760 per year, or remove 8 million families from the program. Additionally, the bill would destroy 700,000 jobs, harm our economic growth at a time where reported African American unemployment soars at 16.2 percent, and end Medicare. Medicare remains the safety net for our seniors—especially African American seniors. 67 percent of African Americans are at or below the poverty line, and 12 percent of African Americans rely on this critical program for survival. The most vulnerable cannot afford to see an end to Medicare and the vital programs that would be destroyed by the “Cut, Cap and Leave Behind Act”. I stand strong with Members of the Congressional Black Caucus to ensure protection of these important programs.
“Now is the time for real work to be done, jobs to be created, and to protect and uplift our citizens’ quality of life. It is not the time for ideological wars. It is time to cut the political games, instead of critical programs that protect hardworking American families, and get Americans back to work.”
Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke in opposition to the Republican “Cut, Cap, and Balance” Proposal that would cap spending at Ryan Budget levels, end the Medicare guarantee, extend tax breaks to special interest, and mandate the passage of a “balanced budget” constitutional amendment as well.
“I rise in strong opposition to what has appropriately been labeled the ‘Duck, Dodge and Dismantle Budget Bill’. Republicans duck making the hard choices by requiring us to actually amend our Constitution before we can act to avoid default. The end result: America fails to pay its bills on time. The Republicans dodge facing the real challenge by continuing tax breaks for the super wealthy and big oil, funding two wars, and other republican interests. And the Republicans want to dismantle our nation’s economic security for seniors, the disabled, and the poor by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Making heartless cuts on the backs of the most vulnerable will not balance the budget and it is morally wrong. Now, with only 14 days left, Republicans are pushing for legislation that will guarantee a default and will kill hundreds of thousands of jobs. This ‘Duck, Dodge, and Dismantle Bill’ would end the social safety net, kill jobs, and set our nation back rather than move it forward.
I urge my colleagues to oppose this job-killing bill that would be written in stone in our Constitution and turn the American dream into a nightmare for millions.”