Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi Denounces GOP Budget; Decries GOP Embrace of Risky Tax Cuts Over Family Needs

March 23, 1999

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) criticized the passage of the GOP budget today as a spending plan that ignores "the priorities of American families" by putting large and risky tax cuts above key programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

"What the American people have said time and time again is that they want to expand health care coverage to the uninsured, increase educational opportunities, and to strengthen law enforcement," Pelosi said. "We all know that trading health care, education and law enforcement for tax cuts does not match the priorities of the American people."

"This era of budget surpluses has provided us with an historic opportunity to put forth a budget that helps families, extends the life of Social Security and Medicare, and takes care of our nationís health and education priorities," she said. "Republicans want to squander that opportunity on tax cuts for the rich and we must not let them."

Pelosi said that the GOP budget once again highlighted the differences between the parties. "While the Democrats fight for a budget that protects middle-class values, extends the life of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds, and enables families to meet their responsibilities at home and at work, Republicans have again sacrificed fiscal responsibility for large and risky tax breaks."

The fiscally irresponsible Republican plan will give $200 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy over the next 5 years, while cutting $114 billion in domestic programs for education, health care, and the environment. This down payment that Republicans are making on the trillion-dollar tax scheme proposed by candidate George W. Bush will result in 750,000 fewer women, infants and children receiving WIC nutritional benefits, 316,000 fewer educational Pell Grant recipients, and 1,100 fewer FBI agents.

Moreover, she noted that the GOP budget failed to properly preserve Social Security and Medicare. Not only do Republicans fail to provide one dime to extend the life of Social Security and Medicare, the GOP budget even cuts funds for the administrative functions of both programs.

"Ensuring that seniors have access to all of the medications that their doctors prescribe must be a top priority in any responsible budget plan," Pelosi said. "But their budget fails the 13 million Medicare beneficiaries across the nation who have no prescription drug coverage and are required to pay their outpatient prescription drug costs entirely themselves."

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