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Commentary :: Poverty & Urban Development

GOP Delays Vote to Loot $50 Billion of Domestic Programs

GOP delays vote in an effort to loot more than $50 B from the poor.
---GOP Delays Vote To Loot Nations Domestic

October 20, 2005


The GOP is scheming to starve the poor, in an effort
to please the rich.

Recent budget resolutions meant to loot $35 BILLION
from the poor have been delayed.

Then the GOP decided to loot $50 BILLION instead of
$35 BILLION from the poor, and now that vote has been
put on hold.

Due to pressure from the American public, the GOP
decided to delay a vote on Thursday October 20, that
was intended to loot $50 BILLION from the nations
humanitarian domestic programs.

Now the weasels are actually scheming to loot even
more from the budgets of programs for the poor. See
the Bloomberg article below...

Looking for ways to offset $70 BILLION in proposed
tax cuts for the SUPER RICH apparently is not so easy
while the eyes of the world is watching, and the GOP
has delayed the vote until next week.

Call your Representatives to make sure your voice is
heard in an effort to stop the GOP from looting the
nations domestic programs that serve the poor, elderly
and disabled.

Roll Back The Rents

National Call-In Days Extended Through Thursday,
October 20

For months, Congressional leaders have planned cuts in
Food Stamps, Medicaid and other important programs to
fund tax breaks for the well-off. This Thursday the
House of Representatives is expected to vote
on cutting even more in vital programs (like Medicaid,
Food Stamps, TANF, child welfare services, SSI,
unemployment insurance, child support, etc.), raising
the total cuts from $35 billion to $50 billion. Some
members in the Senate would also like to cut more.

But these efforts can be defeated - members of
Congress have started to hear the depth of
opposition to these arrogant proposals. Some
Congressional leaders are backing away from certain
cuts - because of your actions! Your calls will
keep it going!

Call the Capitol toll-free through Thursday: Tell
Congress to get its priorities straight!

1-800-426-8073 (thanks to American Friends Service
Committee for the toll-free number!)

Step 1: On October 17 or 18, call 1-800-426-8073 to be
connected toll-free to the Capitol Switchboard. Ask to
speak to your Representative.

Step 2: When the Representative's phone is answered,

"My name is __________________ and I live in [your
town/city]. I would like Representative ___________ to
oppose $35 - $50 billion or more in cuts to Medicaid,
Food Stamps, and other vital services, and to oppose
$70 billion in more tax cuts."

"The right priorities are protecting people from
sickness and hardship, investing in housing, jobs, and
other services that families need - not cutting those
services deeply and squandering billions on tax cuts
for the well-connected."

Step 3: Use the toll-free number in Step 1 and call
your two Senators. If the lines are busy, please be
patient and try again. It means many others are
speaking out in favor of the right priorities! Or,
dial their direct lines (not toll-free) - find the
numbers at www. and www.


U.S. House Puts Off Vote Seeking $50 Billion in
Spending Cuts

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. House Republicans, unable
to line up enough support for a budget-cutting plan
targeting programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and
student loans, put off a vote on the package until
next week.

House Republican leaders said late yesterday they now
want to include even more reductions in the measure,
such as across- the-board cuts to discretionary
spending, taking back money not yet spent from some
programs and permanently canceling 98 other programs.

The leaders had initially scheduled a vote today on a
plan that would cut federal benefit programs by $50
billion over five years. The plan, even if approved by
the House, is all but certain to be rejected in the
Senate, where there's less appetite for cutting social

``We have raised our sights beyond the $50 billion in
mandatory cuts,'' said House Majority Leader Roy
Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

Blunt said he isn't ready to eliminate a raise for
members of Congress as part of the budget-trimming.
``I'm personally supportive of a cost-of-living
increase for federal employees, and I think that
should include members of the Congress,'' he said.

House Republicans say the cuts are needed to reduce
the budget deficit and offset Hurricane Katrina
recovery costs. The cuts are part of a 2006 budget
plan Congress adopted in April. Democrats say
Republicans want the reductions to offset $70 billion
in tax cuts primarily for the wealthy that are also
part of the budget plan.

Budget Strategy

The provisions the House plans to vote on next week
are part of a budget-cutting strategy Republican
leaders outlined earlier this month. The vote was
postponed after some members objected to voting just
on the cuts to food stamps, Medicaid and student
loans, saying they want to be sure all agencies,
including the departments of Defense and Homeland
Security, would be considered for trims in
discretionary spending.

Many moderate Republicans have problems with targeting
cuts on students and the poor, said Representative
John Spratt of South Carolina, the senior Democrat on
the Budget Committee.

``I think the committees of jurisdiction don't have
any enthusiasm for the process,'' said Spratt,
referring to the House panels that have to make cuts
to programs they oversee.

In the Senate, committees are struggling to identify
even $35 billion in cuts, and some Senate Republicans,
such as Olympia Snowe of Maine, are expressing
concerns about making deeper reductions in programs
that help the poor.

218 Votes Needed

Blunt said earlier yesterday that the House vote will
be held ``whenever we get 218 votes for the biggest
amount of savings we can possibly get.'' Republicans
currently hold 231 of the 435 House seats.

At a closed-door meeting of House Republicans
yesterday, some lawmakers said they don't want to vote
for larger cuts unless the Senate goes along, said
Representative Zach Wamp of Tennessee. Republican
leaders indicated they will seek an agreement with the
Senate before proceeding, he said.

``A lot of members want to make sure we can get it
done, and not just have a symbolic vote,'' Wamp said.

House Republicans fail to reach spending cut deal

[[[The Republican budget blueprint calls for $70
billion in tax cuts over five years, which would add
about $35 billion to the U.S. debt unless more
spending reductions are passed.]]]

By Richard Cowan
Wed Oct 19, 8:20 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican leaders in the U.S.
House of Representatives on Wednesday failed to round
up enough support for deeper domestic spending cuts,
forcing them to call off a vote on legislation they
had hoped to pass on Thursday.

"We shouldn't expect that vote tomorrow," said Heidi
Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Acting Majority Leader
Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican. Armstrong said she
did not know when the vote might be rescheduled.

Blunt, who has temporarily replaced indicted House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay, had hoped to win House
approval this week on a plan to cut mandatory federal
programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and student
loans, by $50 billion over the next five years,
instead of the previously planned $35 billion.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record) of
California, the House Democratic leader, said the
additional spending cuts "would have devastating
consequences on those who need our help most --
hurricane survivors, students, seniors and rural

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican,
shot back, saying, "It's not surprising that
Democratic leaders would be opposed to a spending
restraint amendment." He added that Democrats have
"one strategy: to tax and spend."

But for now, enough House Republicans also were too
uncomfortable with the added spending cuts to let the
measure move forward.

The Republican budget blueprint calls for $70 billion
in tax cuts over five years, which would add about $35
billion to the U.S. debt unless more spending
reductions are passed.

Click below for full story...

Pelosi Statement on Republican Leadership Canceling
Vote on Ill-Conceived and Punitive Budget Cuts

Wed Oct 19, 7:25 PM ET

To: National Desk

Contact: Brendan Daly or Jennifer Crider,
202-226-7616, both of both of the Office of House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi; Web:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 /U.S. Newswire/ -- House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following
statement tonight in response to Republican leadership
canceling tomorrow's expected vote on the budget
reconciliation amendment:

"Today my colleagues and I sent a letter to the
Speaker urging him to abandon Republican plans for
ill-conceived and punitive budget cuts. Democrats are
unified: these cuts were only in the interests of
Republican special interest cronies, and would have
devastating consequences on those who need our help
most -- hurricane survivors, students, seniors, and
rural Americans.

"I am pleased that the Speaker and the Republican
leadership have now backed down from this plan.
Republicans must abandon their culture of cronyism and
corruption and join Democrats to stand up for
America's working families. The budget is a reflection
of our national values, and should help all Americans,
not just the wealthy few. Together, America can do

House Republicans struggle to find spending cuts

By Richard Cowan
Wed Oct 19, 7:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans struggled on
Wednesday to gain support for another round of
domestic spending cuts, leaving uncertain the fate of
legislation that was to have been debated on the floor
of the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.

"We'll bring the first part of our package ... to the
floor when we have 218 votes," said Rep. Roy Blunt
(news, bio, voting record), the Missouri Republican
who has temporarily replaced indicted House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay.

Blunt was referring to a bill that Republican leaders
had hoped to pass in the House on Thursday to cut
mandatory federal programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid
and student loans, by $50 billion over the next five
years, instead of the previously planned $35 billion.

Click below for full story...

Pelosi, Hoyer and Sprat Urge Hastert To Cancel
Budget Vote That Would Increase Deficit, Hurt Katrina

[Press Release] U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News - Oct 19
10:36 AM
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip
Steny Hoyer, and Rep. John Spratt, ranking member on
the House Budget Committee, sent a letter to Speaker
Dennis Hastert today urging him to cancel the budget
resolution amendment that is scheduled to come to the
House floor tomorrow. The amendment would make deeper
spending cuts to vital initiatives that help working
families while

Click below for full Press Release...

Pelosi: Republican Budget Is Another Rip-off of Middle
Class Under Guise of Helping Katrina Survivors

[Press Release] U.S. Newswire via Yahoo! News - Oct 19
10:57 AM
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined other
Democratic leaders at a press stakeout today after the
Democratic Caucus meeting to discuss the Republican
budget and its negative effects on working families.
Below are Pelosi's remarks: "Tomorrow will present a
choice to the Members of Congress. We can choose to
help the people who are affected by Katrina, or we can
give tax cuts to

Click below for full Press Release...

Senate Drops Food Stamp Cuts From Budget

Wednesday October 19, 1:55 AM

Senate Republicans have dropped plans to cut the
popular food stamp program as the chamber's leaders
scrambled to assemble a $35 billion spending cut
measure to implement the budget plan it adopted in

After protests from Agriculture Committee Republicans
such as Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Jim Talent
of Missouri, panel chair Saxby Chambliss dropped more
than $500 million in food stamp cuts from a farm and
food subsidy measure coming to a committee vote
Wednesday. The cuts could have meant a loss of
benefits for 300,000 working families benefiting from
more generous eligibility rules in some states.

"We will continue now to allow federal food stamps to
automatically be given to those who already qualify
under state aid programs," said Agriculture panel
spokesman Keith Williams.

The development on food stamps illustrates the
political sensitivity of the upcoming debate over the
spending cut bill, which would spread the $35 billion
in cuts over five years. Various committees in the
House and Senate are conducting behind-the-scenes
negotiations to devise spending cuts plans to
implement the budget.

Click below for full story...

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