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Dina T.
Democrat NV 1

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  • The Republican Budget

    by Representative Dina Titus

    Posted on 2013-03-13

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    TITUS. Thank you, Congresswoman Maloney, for letting me join you tonight, and thank you for organizing this very important special hour to talk about the Republican budget and its unacceptable impact on women.

    For the third year in a row, Chairman Ryan has proposed an uncompromising budget plan that is out of touch with my State of Nevada's priorities and the country's vision for the future.

    Chairman Ryan has used a lot of gimmicks in his budget, but no amount of chicanery will hide what this budget really means for women.

    Instead of laying out a fair and balanced plan, as you said, Congresswoman, Representative Ryan's budget undermines the health and economic security of the elderly and the disabled, most of whom are women, and disproportionately harms low-income women and families they struggle to support.

    It also would repeal the Affordable Care Act. This landmark legislation that we passed increases access to critical women's health services such as prenatal and maternity care, and it finally ends the longstanding notion that being a woman is a preexisting condition.

    The proposed budget also threatens a laundry list of vital programs that help women and children such as SNAP, WIC, Head Start, school lunches, TANF, and Pell Grants, just to name a few. These are programs that millions of women across the country and their families rely on every day just to get by.

    Instead of protecting such critical programs, Representative Ryan and the Republican Party would rather protect tax breaks for the wealthiest folks in our country, for oil companies and for those companies you mentioned that ship our jobs overseas.

    The Federal budget is a blueprint for our Nation's future. It's a statement of our national priorities. It should reflect who we are, and it should provide a path forward that we can all be proud of.

    My constituents in Las Vegas and our constituents around the country deserve better than this old rehashed Ryan budget which slashes programs for children, dismantles health care for women, eliminates the safety net for seniors and defunds education and needed research and development that we should be investing in as part of that three-legged stool.

    Instead, we need to get to work on a balanced plan that protects women and families and makes those needed investments in our future.

    Again, I thank you, Congresswoman Maloney, and our colleagues who have joined us tonight to talk about these important issues, and I urge you to give careful consideration to the Ryan budget with all those hidden little tricks and old hat policies.

    Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I thank you for joining us tonight to share how this impacts on Nevada, an important State that you're representing. And I just want to express my gratitude that you have come [[Page H1387]] back to Congress and that you're a part of our caucus.

    Another outstanding woman in our caucus is Carol Shea-Porter from the great State of New Hampshire. And it is a State that's really unusual now in that all of its elected officials are women: the Governor, the legislature, the State and the assembly. We're so pleased that their Congresswoman is here today, and I know she has a special message from the great State of New Hampshire.

    Ms. SHEA-PORTER. I thank you, Congresswoman Maloney, for the chance to speak about the damage that the Ryan budget would do to women and to families.

    There are a couple of points. The new Ryan budget and the cuts to discretionary programs and the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid guarantees would disproportionately affect the women and children who are already suffering this year because of the sequestration.

    The Ryan budget would dismantle the SNAP food program just like it does Medicare. About two-thirds of the SNAP benefits go to families with children. They rely on this.

    The Ryan budget would roll back affordable health care provisions, bringing back gender-rating and allowing preexisting conditions like pregnancy and domestic violence.

    Discretionary spending programs have already seen sequester cuts that will force women and families in need off of programs that help them. The Republican budget would further decimate these programs.

    The special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children, the WIC program, is one of our most successful and essential nutrition programs. Sequester will drop about 600,000 women and children from this program. Under the Republican budget, even more babies and mothers would be kicked off.

    The new budget's enormous cuts would do even more than the sequester has done to destroy jobs and hurt our economic recovery. At a time when women are making unprecedented gains in higher education and the workforce, a war on jobs is a war on women and their families.

    A budget is a moral document, and the Ryan budget fails this basic test of morality. This is wrong for women, and it is wrong for families, and we just reject this.

    I thank you for the chance to talk about it.

    Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. I appreciate your input and for being here tonight to participate in this Special Order. You've raised some very relevant points.

    I want to talk about the special impact the Ryan budget has on the Pell Grant cuts.

    One of the ways women try to climb out of poverty and close the pay gap is through education, especially higher education. And as we all know, college tuition has far outpaced inflation for years and years. That's why programs such as the Pell Grant program are so important. And fully two-thirds of Pell Grant recipients are women.

    Yet again, the Ryan Republican budget hurts women college students by cutting nearly $83 billion--that's with a ``b''--from Pell Grants over the next 10 years. They're doing this even though Congress already enacted and paid for annual mandatory inflationary increases in 2010 and recently cut Pell Grant benefits and eligibility to control costs. So the Ryan Republican budget will make it that much harder for women to climb the ladder of opportunity, get a college degree, get a decent job and start or maintain a family. It just does not need to be that way.

    {time} 1820 As President Obama has said, the math in this Ryan budget does not add up, and the math that is there cuts programs helping working women and single moms. The Ryan budget will be devastating for working women, low-income families and young women trying to afford college. Head Start, early childhood care, food stamps, Pell Grants for college, and so much more would be slashed under this budget. Let's start with early childhood education.

    Many researchers and economists tell us that the very best investment that we can make in our society and in our children is in early childhood education. These cuts in the Ryan budget are on top of the $85 billion from sequestration, which are already in effect. Because of the sequestration, 70,000 children nationwide will be kicked off of Head Start. Another 30,000 low-income children will lose child care assistance because of the cuts to the child care and development block grants. That's a total of 100,000 low-income kids being kicked out of early childhood services. That's already happening as we are speaking tonight on the floor. The Ryan budget would double those cuts, which would mean another 100,000 kids losing services.

    What are the working moms of 200,000 children across the country supposed to do? Women only earn 74 cents to the dollar of what men earn in similar jobs. While they are at work, how are these women going to afford to take care of their kids when they lose these services? The answer is they'll need to find another affordable child care option, which, if you're a mom, you know how difficult that is. Or you'll have to cut back on hours at work because there is no child care. This will only widen the already existing economic divide that separates men and women.

    It's not just the economic divide between men and women. The gap between the haves and the have-nots, because of the Ryan budget and the Bush years, has never been greater, but that's not all. Many of these same families would also lose the assistance they need so that they can feed their families.

    Now from the great State of Maryland is the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Elijah Cummings. It's good to hear that like-minded men have joined us in this Special Order on the Ryan budget and how it affects American families.

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