Congresswoman Linda Sánchez Calls Republican Budget Reckless and Irresponsible

February 7, 2006
Press Release
Washington, DC- Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) released the following statement after President Bush released his budget proposal for 2007 on Monday.

“The budget President Bush released yesterday reflects misplaced priorities that aren’t in sync with everyday Americans. This budget imposes harmful cuts to important services and programs for average Americans, while protecting giveaways for special interests and tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Seniors, children and working families are the ones that will bear the heaviest burden from this budget. Last week, the GOP budget reconciliation bill cost California $3.1 billion. Yesterday’s release of the President’s budget carries more bad news for Californians. The bottom line is, the President’s budget is just more of the same--fiscal recklessness that leaves our children and grandchildren with debt for many years to come. Democrats will fight against these cuts and fight for a budget that restores fiscal responsibility and brings real prosperity to hard working Americans--economic prosperity, affordable healthcare and energy, and strong public schools.

The President has announced that he will cut or eliminate many programs that are critical to Californians:

In California, we have seen first hand how millions are struggling with the complexity of the Medicare prescription drug program. Now is not the time to cut Medicare by $36 million. Instead of cutting Medicare, the President should direct some money to immediately repay states, pharmacies and Medicare beneficiaries, in full, for costs they have absorbed as a result of the problem-ridden implementation of the prescription drug program.

In the President’s State of the Union speech, he talked about the importance of education to keep America competitive and innovative, yet his budget reflects none of that. The budget under funds the department of Education by 3.8% and eliminates 42 education programs. Programs that are critical to California such as Vocation Education Programs, college readiness programs for low-income youth (GEAR-UP and TRIO), and Even Start literacy programs are among those that were cut. The President touts the No Child Left Behind Program, yet again, the President’s budget will leave behind 3.7 million students, including over 500,000 Californians, because he chooses to not fully fund the programs that provide federal assistance to school districts with high concentrations of low-income students. Most surprisingly, Bush has backed away from last year’s promise to increase the maximum Pell Grant amount, which provides funding for low-income students to meet the skyrocketing costs of higher education. It is truly reprehensible that President Bush once again wants to cut education funding.

State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) The President again proposes to eliminate the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). This has happened the last two years and each time Congress has recognized the importance of the program and saved it. Without such funding, states will not be reimbursed for their share of incarcerating undocumented criminal aliens. This would especially hurt California as we receive nearly 40 percent of all federal SCAAP funding. I have heard time and again from local law enforcement agencies, that this funding is critical and I will fight this year to ensure that SCAAP funding is restored. In addition, the President wants to cut funds to the highly-successful Community Oriented Policing Programs, and Violence Against Women Programs.

President Bush has again broken his promises. It is unconscionable, but while President Bush is cutting programs that are critical to America’s working families, he will squander the savings from these cuts on $1.5 trillion in permanent tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and increase the national debt to $423 billion.”