From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on the Effect of Bush Budget on Hispanics

March 3, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congressional Democrats to release a report highlighting the negative effect of the Bush Administration's budget proposal on Hispanic priorities:

"Thank you for being here as we release this very critical report. Critical in that it is important and it makes a difference in people's lives in the Hispanic community, but it is also critical of the Bush Administration in that it points out how the Bush Administration shortchanges the Hispanic community.

"Democrats are fighting every day for the issues Hispanics care about: jobs and growing the economy, education, health care, civil rights, immigration and national security. Those commitments are embodied in the Democratic Hispanic Agenda - the Compromiso Democrata con el Pueblo Latino - and it is great to be with so many Hispanic leaders today as we continue to fight for that agenda.

"All across America, families are working hard to achieve the American dream - a good job, the best education for their children, and a secure retirement. Unfortunately, as the report we are releasing today documents, President Bush’s budget takes us in the wrong direction.

"Education is the key to success and the best investment we can make, but President Bush’s budget underfunds his own No Child Left Behind bill by $9.4 billion and it underfunds Head Start and dropout prevention programs as well. Head Start helps more than 270,000 Hispanic children enter school ready to learn, and we should be expanding it to help the children of migrant and seasonal working families, not undermining it.

"The President’s budget cuts funding for Perkins Loans for low-income students by $100 million. It freezes funding for Pell Grants -- both programs open the door to a college education for thousands of Hispanic students nationwide.

"The Bush budget cuts funding for the Office of Minority Health by 15 percent, despite wide minority health disparities. And it slashes funding for the loan programs that help the hundreds of thousands of Hispanic-owned small businesses grow.

"The President simply has the wrong priorities. Instead of providing Hispanic Americans with an opportunity to achieve the American dream, he is mortgaging their future on irresponsible tax cuts for those who need it least.

"Democrats are fighting against the President’s distorted priorities. We are committed to building an America that helps Hispanic families create a better future for their children.

"Our recurring themes are opportunity, responsibility and community. The President's budget undermines opportunity, evades responsibility and destroys community."

For a copy of the full report, click here.




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