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House passes cuts to Medicaid to fund more tax cuts for the rich

This atrocity passed by 2 votes, 216-214, and Earl Blumenauer didn't bother to vote! If you're in his district, send him an email saying you hate him.  http://blumenauer.house.gov/about/Contact.shtml -- George Bender
Walden's Service Cuts Will Hurt Oregon Families

On Tuesday, Southern Oregonians said "no" to $100 billion in federal service cuts - But Congressman Walden voted yes today, locking in drastic cuts to Oregon's Medicaid, child support enforcement, student loans and other services that help Oregon's poor and middle-class families improve their lives.

The Budget Reconciliation bill, which passed today 216-214, will take an estimated $38.8 billion from health care, child care, student loan assistance, child support enforcement and other critical services for the poor and middle class between 2006-2010, and $99.3 billion more between 2006 to 2015, according to the Congressional Budget Office. These cuts are designed to offset an estimated $70 billion in tax cuts over the next five years, about three-quarters of which will go to households with income of more than $100,000.

Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain Tuesday joined about 30 students, parents and seniors who told the media outside Walden's Medford office how Oregonians would be affected by the cuts. (See Medford's KDRV Channel 12 coverage here.)

Denise Stephenson, a mother who relies on Child Support Enforcement to collect support owed by her daughter's father, said, "Greg Walden's tax giveaway to the rich will allow parents to neglect their children and shift costs onto taxpayers. For me, $24 a week makes the difference between whether my daughter eats Top Ramen or a more nutritious meal."

"To say that the No. 1 place to cut is student financial aid and the No. 2 place to cut is health care for the disabled and poor and low-income families, while leaving untouched subsidies to the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry and the oil industry, is obscene," Rep. Peter DeFazio told the Register-Guard today.

Walden was the only member of Oregon's Congressional delegation who supported the service cuts. Earl Blumenauer did not cast a vote.

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Eugene Register-Guard
February 1, 2006
 link to www.registerguard.com

Bill's cuts will hurt students, study says
By Greg Bolt

Oregon students could pay almost $1,800 more for their college loans under terms of a budget bill expected to be approved by Congress this week.

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on the budget reconciliation bill, which will cut $40 billion from the federal budget.

About one-third of the cuts, $12.7 billion, will come through changes in college financial aid, mainly by increasing the interest rate on student loans and increasing the fees paid for the loans.

Also, the bill will cut $8 billion from the Medicaid program and $5 billion from Medicare.

The Senate approved the bill just before the Christmas recess by the narrowest possible margin, a 51-50 vote in which Vice President Dick Cheney cast the tie-breaker. The bill is being sent back to the House for a vote on minor changes made in the Senate version.

Supporters of the bill said it provides much-needed fiscal restraint in the face of unprecedented demands on the treasury for the costs of the Hurricane Katrina response and the ongoing expense for the war in Iraq.

Opponents argue that the bill takes most of its savings from cuts to needy student and health care programs.

"To say that the No. 1 place to cut is student financial aid and the No. 2 place to cut is health care for the disabled and poor and low-income families, while leaving untouched subsidies to the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry and the oil industry, is obscene," said Fourth District Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat. "It's unconscionable."

DeFazio voted against the bill when it came up late last year and said he remains opposed.

Second District Rep. Greg Walden, the lone Republican in Oregon's House delegation, was the only member of the delegation to support the earlier version; calls to his office Monday and Tuesday were not returned.

The liberal advocacy group Campaign for America's Future, which supports budget reforms it believes favor working families, released a study Monday that claims students in Oregon could pay as much as $1,796 more in loan costs under the new legislation.

Also, the group questioned making deep cuts in programs that provide health care for low-income families and help students get a college degree when separate legislation gives large tax breaks to high-income taxpayers.

"This bill will make it harder for students from working families to go to college," Robert Borosage, co-founder of Campaign for America's Future, said in a prepared statement.

"This measure makes deep and harmful cuts to student loans that will not even pay for the new tax breaks planned for the wealthy."

homepage: homepage: http://blumenauer.house.gov/about/Contact.shtml

Just Do It! 02.Feb.2006 10:21

Plebius

Send a message to the Patrician Party, aka the Republicans and Democrats. Vote for a third party, any third party will do for now!

Blumenauer's nonvote 02.Feb.2006 13:48

George Bender

According to news accounts today, Bluemenauer missed the vote because his mother was sick and he had to fly back to Oregon. Whether this is an adequate excuse I don't know, but at least it's a reason.


Pathetic 02.Feb.2006 16:35

A Mom

Son, Your an Asshole.
If I were his mother and sick at home, I would have told him to stay and vote to help the country. After all, if I am that sick I might need those health services that are being cut. Shame on you son......

Straight party-line vote, Blumenauer's vote could not have changed it 02.Feb.2006 19:33

g.d. dem

Going to house.gov shows this


Yeas Nays PRES NV
Republican 216 13 2
Democratic 200 1
Independent 1
TOTALS 216 214 3

Not one Democrat voted for this -- the 13 Republicans that voted against it were all the Republicans that ever would vote against the Republican bosses and the White House. In other words, neither of the 2 non-voting Republicans would ever vote against it, so even if Blumenauer had not missed the vote, it still would have carried 216-215.

You can say "any third party will do" -- but this is about as sorry-ass an example of that program as you could ever find. What this really shows is that if just one more Democrat had been elected in 2004, instead of a Republican, this horrible regressive legislation could have been avoided.

Jim Gerlach (PA), Walter Jones (NC), Timothy Johnson (IL), Steven LaTourette (OH), James Leach (Iowa), John McHugh (NY), Robert Ney (OH), Ron Paul (TX), John Sweeney (NY), Christopher Smith (NJ), Bob Simmons (CT), Jim Ramstad (MN), Wilson (NM),

We recognize the two maverick (aka honorable) Republicans -- Jones and Paul -- but not the others. Johnson and Leach represent college towns - Urbana, Illionois, and Iowa City, Iowa, respectively. Otherwise, it looks like there is still such an animal as a "liberal Republican" in such places as Connecticutt, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. Also, maybe a few populists in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio.

At least there aren't any Ben Nelsons in the House! Something to do with that they face elections every two years? No, that doesn't explain it - Nelson is up for reelection to the Senate this year. Something to do with strange people in Nebraska? I don't know, maybe Nelson would vote against this budget cut-back atrocity even though he was for Alito - the abortion thing.

Anyway, I have even more respect for Ron Paul and Walter Jones than I did before -- when I just knew that they were standing up with Kucinich against Bush and the war. It would be great if we could get a honorable and decent Republican like Paul or Jones to represent Eastern Oregon. Walden is pathetic.

vote results format problem 02.Feb.2006 21:27

g.d. dem

The table from house.gov didn't translate, so here are the results in better format, I hope --

Republicans: Yeas 216, Nays 13, Not Voting 2
Democrats: NO YEAS, Nays 200, Not Voting 1

The one Independent (Bernie Sanders of Vermont) voted Nay

TOTALS Yeas 216, Nays 214, Not Voting 3 (including 2 Republicans)

BTW: Imagine if we just hsd a couple of Independents in the House. It would only take a few out of more than 400 Representatives to tip the balance in cases like this! Might be a different world.