Thursday, February 02, 2006

Schulte Condemns Budget Reconciliation Bill

Contact: Angel Head,
Communications Director

Joyce Schulte for Congress- A Better Choice for western Iowa

Creston, IA - Two days from now the United States Congress will take a final vote on the "Budget Reconciliation" bill S. 1932, formerly known as HR 4241, if the bill passes the House it will be a step backward for many of America's at-risk families.

Joyce Schulte, candidate for Congress in Iowa's 5th District, believes this proposed law must be stopped, "I would vote 'No' on S. 1932. Its intent is to nearly eliminate governmental support, from federal to state to county for low to middle income families over the next 5-10 years. From under funding child care assistance to cutting student loan programs to slowly drawing funding away from child support enforcement, this bill represents a disconnect between Congress and the American people."

Some numbers from S. 1932:
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: Due to an $11 billion short fall in this bill, 255,000 fewer children in low-income working families would receive child care.
  • Federal student loan programs: The amount of funds available would be cut by $12.7 billion over five years and interest on the loans still available would be raised. This would reduce or even eliminate the ability of some poorer students to attend college.
  • Child support enforcement: Funding for these programs is reduced by $1.5 billion over five years and $4.9 billion over 10 years in this plan. This will result in nearly twice that amount in support payments going uncollected over that same period, most affecting low-income single mothers and their children.
  • Foster Care: The bill will cut $450 million over five years from Title IV-E federal assistance. This will primarily affect abused and neglected children cared for by grandparents or other relatives.
  • Medicaid: S. 1932 increases co-payments and premiums for patients and reduces benefits for a total of $42 billion in cuts over the next 10 years. Also for the first time states will have the ability to allow providers to deny needed medications and services to beneficiaries if they are unable to afford the co-payments. This will leave the poorest Americans, overwhelmingly children, without even basic medical care.

Schulte added, "Congress must work in the real world where the American family functions. It is a place where too often there are hard choices made about food versus medicine or day care versus welfare. S. 1932 will only increase the stress and burden on America's most at-risk families. Please join me in calling on Congress to vote 'No' on this so-called 'budget reconciliation'."


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