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Dire Emergency - Call In for the Poor Immediately!

This is eating the poor for lunch, GOP style. If you have a voice and a conscience, the time to speak out is NOW!
November 4, 2005

---GOP Slashes Domestic Programs & Attacks The U.S.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals---

On November 3, 2005;
The full Senate approved around $36 billion in budget
cuts over the next five years.

On November 3, 2003;
The House Budget Committee, on a nearly party-line
21-17 vote, approved a Republican plan to cut a net
$54 billion from mandatory programs over five years.

The House bill is expected to be voted upon sometime
next week.

[The differences between the two bills extend beyond
dollars. The Senate's cuts would target mostly
providers of federal benefits, such as pharmacies and
drug companies; the House bill would trim the rolls of
recipients, notably those receiving Medicaid benefits,
food stamps and farm subsidies.]

---GOP Attack On The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
Placed In House Bill---

The GOP is creating a right-wing dictatorship with
their effort to kill the 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals...

On November 3, 2005 the chamber's Budget Committee
from the House of Representatives, slipped in some
language into the soon to be voted upon House Bill
that would split the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals in two. See LA Times article
below...

[As prepared by eight House committees and assembled
Thursday by the chamber's Budget Committee, the House
bill would also split the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals in two, with California
linked with Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana
Islands. The seven other states in the court would
comprise a separate circuit.]

To those of you opposed to the proposed budget cuts...

Now is the time to scream out at the top of your lungs
in opposition to what is going down!

If not, the GOP plans to eat the poor for lunch, with
another insufferable $70 billion tax cut to the SUPER
RICH!


Roll Back The Rents


PRESS RELEASE:

CALL TO ACTION

---From the National Low-Income Housing Coalition---

Click below to send a letter on this topic to your
Senators and Representatives.

www.nlihc.org/news/110305.html

CALL TO ACTION
November 3, 2005

FY06 Appropriations Bills to Be Finalized Soon
House and Senate to Meet in Conference; Urge Your
Representatives and Senators to Strengthen Housing
Programs

WHY CALL?

The House and Senate have each completed their HUD
spending bills for FY06. Now Representatives and
Senators must meet in conference to iron out
differences in the two bills. While the formal
conference is expected to take place the week of
November 7, informal discussions between House and
Senate are already underway. NOW IS THE TIME to call
your Members to advocate for the final FY06 HUD
budget.

Negotiations take place between Senators and
Representatives designated as ‘conferees.’ Your
delegation should be asked to weigh in with colleagues
who are named conferees.

Call (888)-818-6641 and ask to be transferred to your
Representative, then your Senators. Relay the
following message:

Please urge conferees working on the HUD
appropriations bill to strengthen programs that help
low income people afford housing.
Specifically:

* Conferees should reject any across-the-board cuts to
the HUD budget.
* Conferees should fund the housing voucher program at
the level suggested by the President. However, they
should use the funding formula that is in the Senate
bill.
* Conferees should choose the higher of the House or
Senate levels for all other HUD programs (including
public housing operating and capitol funds, homeless
assistance, HOME, Section 811, Section 202, Housing
for Persons with AIDS, and fair housing). For CDBG,
funding should be at least the FY05 level.
* Conferees should include Senate language maintaining
project-based assistance in at-risk HUD-subsidized
housing, and language closing loopholes for
above-income college students living in HUD-assisted
housing.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

NLIHC’s budget chart shows the HUD funding levels
proposed by the President, House and Senate. The chart
is available at www.nlihc.org/news/102605chart.pdf.

Please report the results of your calls to
kim (at) nlihc.org.

*********
Senate Passes Bill to Cut Spending by $35 Billion

* The five-year budget measure also authorizes
drilling in the Arctic refuge. The House will probably
vote on its version next week.

By Richard Simon and Joel Havemann, Times Staff
Writers
November 4, 2005

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved a far-reaching budget
bill Thursday that would trim spending for Medicare,
Medicaid and other domestic benefit programs and save
$35 billion over five years.
The measure also would authorize oil and gas drilling
in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The House, meanwhile, moved closer to a floor vote —
probably next week — on a version of the budget bill
that would cut $54 billion in federal spending over
the next five years.

The differences between the two bills extend beyond
dollars. The Senate's cuts would target mostly
providers of federal benefits, such as pharmacies and
drug companies; the House bill would trim the rolls of
recipients, notably those receiving Medicaid benefits,
food stamps and farm subsidies.

The vote in the Senate was 52 to 47, with all but two
Democrats opposing the bill. Also, five Republicans
voted against it.

The measure represents Congress' first big effort to
cut spending since 1997.
"This shows we are serious about fiscal discipline,"
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said.
The bill's passage was a victory for President Bush,
whose administration has been buffeted by bad news and
sagging approval ratings.

Bush has presided over an explosion of deficit
spending, partly because of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks. But recently, he has intensified efforts to
clamp down on federal spending in response to
conservative clamor to offset spending necessitated by
Hurricane Katrina.

The Senate bill also includes Bush's favorite energy
initiative — opening the Arctic refuge to energy
exploration.

After the vote, Bush issued a statement praising the
Senate for taking "an important step forward in
cutting the deficit."

However, the White House strongly opposes a key
provision of the bill that would cut funds for a
program to encourage health insurers to participate in
the new Medicare prescription benefit.

Administration officials want that provision deleted
from the bill's final form. But whether Congress can
pass a final version remains uncertain.

In the House, a number of moderate Republicans oppose
some spending cuts their party leaders are pushing
for, as well as the Arctic drilling provision and a
measure to relax a decades-old federal ban on new
offshore oil and gas drilling. California Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger came out against the offshore drilling
provision Thursday.

Adding to GOP leaders' problems, a group of
conservative Democrats known as the "Blue Dogs" — to
whom Republicans often turn on budget votes — called
the House budget bill a "sham." They said they doubted
Republicans were committed to deficit reduction
considering that party leaders wanted more tax cuts.

As prepared by eight House committees and assembled
Thursday by the chamber's Budget Committee, the House
bill would also split the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals in two, with California
linked with Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana
Islands. The seven other states in the court would
comprise a separate circuit.

The 9th Circuit has long been a target of
conservatives who believe it is too liberal.

In the Senate, Democrats contended that the bill
passed Thursday would actually increase the deficit in
combination with $70 billion in tax cuts that
Republicans hope Congress will approve.
In opposing the bill, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
said the deficit reduction package was "not what it
claims to be. Yes, it will cut spending by more than
$30 billion, but in a few weeks these savings will be
spent on tax breaks for the rich…. This fiscal
strategy edges us closer to fiscal insanity and leaves
our children and their children impoverished and
riddled with debt."

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) also voted against the
measure

www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-spend4nov04,1,37193.story

*********
U.S. Senate Approves Package of About $35 Bln in
Spending Cuts

Nov. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate approved a
package of about $35 billion in spending cuts to
government benefit programs such as Medicaid and farm
subsidies as part of a Republican-led effort to reduce
the budget deficit.

The package, approved by a vote of 52-47, includes a
plan to raise revenue by allowing oil companies to
drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The 2006 budget plan passed by Congress in April
called for finding $35 billion in savings over five
years through a combination of spending cuts and
revenue-raising measures. Congress hasn't tried to cut
benefit programs since 1997. Republican leaders in the
House want to pass $53.9 billion in savings, setting
up a possible clash when legislators try to merge the
House and Senate versions.

``This is a major effort'' said Senator Judd Gregg, a
New Hampshire Republican who chairs the Budget
Committee. ``It's an important step in the direction
of fiscal responsibility.''

Democrats are united against the package, saying the
savings unfairly target programs that help the
neediest Americans and will be used to partially
finance a Republican plan to extend $70 billion in tax
cuts. Combined with the tax cuts the deficit will
increase, Democrats say.

``Describing this package as deficit reduction is a
little like the blind-folded man describing an
elephant only by touching its tail,'' said Senator
Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the senior Democrat on
the Budget Committee.

Republicans said the savings are needed to reduce a
budget deficit that reached $319 billion in the fiscal
year that ended Sept. 30, down from $412.8 billion in
the previous fiscal year. Senate aides were still
working to determine the exact amount of savings after
several amendments were approved, said Budget
Committee spokeswoman Betsy Holahan.

Targets Programs

The House Budget Committee today approved a $53.9
billion package of spending cuts that targets programs
such as food stamps, student loans and child support.
Some lawmakers in the House pushed for greater
savings, saying they were needed to help pay for $62.3
billion Congress approved in emergency assistance for
the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

Approval in the full House will be difficult with such
a varied package of proposals, including the oil
drilling in Alaska, said House Budget Committee
Chairman Jim Nussle, an Iowa Republican.

``When you put together a bill such as this, there
will be something that people point to that gives them
discomfort,'' he said. The House may vote on its plan
as early as next week. Last month, Republican leaders
failed to get enough support to formally raise the
budget-cutting target to $50 billion and instead asked
committees to move forward with finding the additional
savings.

Changes Likely

House Majority Leader Roy Blunt, a Missouri
Republican, said Republican leaders are likely to make
changes to the plan in order to attract the support
needed to pass it. Asked whether leaders might remove
a provision allowing the oil drilling in Alaska, Blunt
said the ``entire package'' will be reviewed.

Among the biggest spending cuts in the Senate plan are
to the government health-insurance plans Medicaid and
Medicare. Lawmakers said they found $10 billion in
savings in part by increasing payments from drugmakers
and pharmacies without reducing services to
beneficiaries and in some cases improving care.

The Senate measure being considered today also
proposes to raise $5.4 billion by increasing fees paid
by companies to the government for a pension insurance
plan and about $8.3 billion by selling off rights to
the broadcast spectrum. Selling drilling leases in
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge would bring
in about $2.5 billion. The measure cuts about $2.7
billion in agriculture programs and subsidies and
eliminates $5.4 billion from a Medicare fund to
improve coverage in rural areas.

School Funds

The Senate approved an amendment to give $1.7 billion
to public and private schools that have taken in
students from areas damaged by the Gulf Coast
hurricanes and to reduce certain student loan fees by
$1 billion. Senators rejected an amendment to take the
oil drilling provision out of the package, while
agreeing to prevent any oil or gas produced there from
being exported.

The cuts are to mandatory spending, which
automatically increases every year and isn't regularly
reviewed by Congress in the appropriations process.
Mandatory spending in 2005 accounted for 56 percent of
the $2.6 trillion federal budget.

The spending cuts are the cornerstone of President
George W. Bush's efforts to decrease the budget
deficit to $260.5 billion by 2009.

Separately, the Senate approved a $101 billion
spending plan to fund the Department of Agriculture in
fiscal year 2006. Congress has now agreed to five of
11 spending bills that fund the government.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Catherine Dodge in Washington at cdodge (at) bloomberg.net

Last Updated: November 3, 2005 18:21 EST

www.bloomberg.com/apps/news

*********
Senate approves billions in spending cuts

By Richard Cowan
Thu Nov 3, 8:30 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday
approved around $36 billion in net spending cuts over
five years in a first step toward slowing the
explosive growth of popular programs that help the
poor and the elderly as well as students, farmers and
others.
ADVERTISEMENT

The partisan 52-47 vote came as Democrats mostly
boycotted the initiative and argued that even more
onerous cuts on the poor being advanced by the House
of Representatives would end up in the final version
of legislation.

Republicans touted the spending-cut bill, the first of
its kind since 1997, as an "aggressive proposal" to
bring mandatory programs under control. Even so, the
estimated $36 billion in savings would be dwarfed by
the $13.8 trillion the government is expected to spend
over the next five years under a Republican budget
plan approved in April.

"Today, the Senate took an important step forward in
cutting the deficit. I commend Senate leadership and
the other senators who supported this
spending-reduction legislation," President George W.
Bush said in a statement.

"Congress needs to send me a spending-reduction
package this year to keep us on track to cutting the
deficit in half by 2009," he said.

Democrats ridiculed the effort, saying the
Republican-named "Deficit Reduction Act of 2005"
would, in the words of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (news,
bio, voting record) of New Jersey, be more aptly
called the "Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion
Reconciliation Act."

Democrats say the bill would actually achieve no
deficit-reduction if Republicans also succeed with
plans to pass additional tax cuts for the wealthy and
others.

With a $70 billion price tag, the tax bill would add
$34 billion to U.S. deficits after counting the
spending cuts.

GRAB-BAG OF CUTS

Besides saving about $10 billion over five years by
restructuring some Medicare and Medicaid health
programs for the elderly and poor, the Senate plan is
a grab-bag of spending reductions, including nearly
$1.3 billion over five years on farm subsidies and
$5.4 billion in higher premiums companies would pay to
a federally backed pension fund.

Also as part of the bill, big oil won a victory with
narrow approval of a controversial plan to allow oil
drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
(ANWR).

Gulf Coast states, devastated by Hurricane Katrina
last summer, would get nearly $3 billion in new funds
to help restore coastal areas and aid schools.

The bill also provides an $11.4 billion blueprint for
funding Amtrak operations and capital needs. The plan
includes proposals to competitively bid some routes
and reform business practices of Amtrak, the federally
subsidized railroad.

While the Bush administration supports the
spending-cut goals of the Senate and House, it has
warned senators that it could veto the bill. It
objected to a provision that deletes a Medicare fund
the White House believes ensures that private
health-care plans take part in the federal health care
program.

Across Capitol Hill, the House Budget Committee, on a
nearly party-line 21-17 vote, approved a Republican
plan to cut a net $54 billion from mandatory programs
over five years.

The proposal includes $844 million in food stamp cuts
for the poor by tightening some eligibility
requirements and cutting programs related to child
support and child welfare.

news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051104/pl_nm/economy_congress_vote_dc_3
 
 


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