Wrong Priorities for America

Feb 19, 2011 Issues: Education, Fiscal Responsibility, Health Care, Seniors, The War in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, DC– Upon the passage of H.R. 1, the Republican Leadership’s spending plan, U.S. Congressman David Cicilline (R-RI), who voted against the bill, released the following statement:

“The Republican Leadership’s spending bill is dangerous and irresponsible. It threatens jobs, undercuts American innovation, and jeopardizes investments in rebuilding our nation.

“It slashes $1.6 billion in job training, and cuts an additional $120 million that would prepare young adults for work in construction and other trades – critical skills that will help us make things in America again, and put us on better footing to compete with the rest of the world.

“It makes devastating cuts to education – cutting Pell Grants, meaning more than 36,000 students in Rhode Island would lose access to critical higher education opportunities.

“The Republican spending bill slashes science and health funding by $1.6 billion risking the loss of 20,000 jobs and includes significant reductions in research and science that will ultimately reduce our competitiveness and diminish our ability to innovate and create jobs.

“The budget cuts Community Development Block Grants that provide economic assistance for small businesses and critical economic development efforts.

“And it makes devastating cuts to LIHEAP, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Public Broadcasting System and denies 5 million women access to critical health services.

“What’s worse, these draconian cuts by the Republican Leadership effectively finance $800 billion in Bush era tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans. They also provide funding for oil and gas subsidies, to some of America’s biggest corporations, not to mention fund the War in Afghanistan, now the longest war in our history which has lost support among a majority of Americans.

“The work of lowering the deficit and cutting spending will be hard to be sure. The fact of the matter is that we have to cut spending. But we have to do it responsibly. We need to get this right – while we look for ways to reduce our spending and get our financial house back in order, we have to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that invests in our future.

“The Republican Leadership’s spending bill reflects the wrong priorities for America.”