From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on the Effect of Bush Budget on African Americans

March 10, 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 on African American priorities:

"Thank you all for being here today to release this critical report.

"Democrats are fighting every day for the issues African Americans care about: jobs and growing the economy, quality education, health care, civil rights, affordable housing, and safe and secure communities.

"We are fighting for opportunity, responsibility, and community. But, as the report we are releasing today shows, the President’s budget undermines opportunity, evades responsibility, and destroys community.

"It undermines opportunity for African Americans.

"His budget it fails to deliver $9.4 billion in promised education funding under No Child Left Behind, and guts Head Start for 297,000 African American children.

"Even though 69 percent of African Americans undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid, the President freezes the maximum Pell Grant award in the face of skyrocketing tuitions and cuts funding for low-interest loans for low-income students by nearly $100 million.

"The Bush budget also cuts funding for the Small Business Administration, which helps minority-owned small businesses grow, by $79 million.

"The President’s budget evades responsibility.

"With the African American unemployment rate at 9.8 percent and with 1.6 million African Americans looking for work, the President does nothing to create good-paying jobs here at home, even as he squanders an additional $1 trillion over the next 10 years on additional tax cuts for those who need them least.

"The President’s budget destroys community.

"His budget cuts grants to develop low-income communities by 7 percent, slashes the investment in community policing initiatives by 87 percent, and cuts juvenile justice programs by 41 percent.

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

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

For a copy of the full report, click here:




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