DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - November 17, 2005)
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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the conference report of H.R. 3010, the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2006. This bill and the Republican majority are out of touch with the needs of the American public.
This legislation is a question of priorities. It is unconscionable that the Republican majority prepares to fund $70 billion in tax cuts with cuts to key education, job training and health care programs. With States across the country struggling to find the dollars to fully implement No Child Left Behind, this bill would cut No Child Left Behind funding by $784 million. With college tuition costs rising, this bill would freeze Pell grant funding at last year's level. With energy costs rising, this bill would also freeze Low-Income Home Energy Assistance funding at last year's level. With 7.4 million Americans out of work, this bill would cut $245 million for unemployment insurance and employment services programs.
Additionally, this bill would provide the National Institute of Health, NIH, which works to research and combat diseases like cancer and chronic illnesses such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and ALS, with the smallest funding level increase in 36 years. This bill would also slash $31 million in funding for Preventive Health Block Grants and provides virtually no funding for new Community Health Centers. This bill fails to recognize the continued HIV/AIDS crisis by freezing funding on virtually all components of the Ryan White AIDS Care program, except AIDS Drug Assistance. In total, this bill ignores the health needs of Americans.
This bill does not reflect the priorities of the American people. As Members of Congress, we cannot abandon our obligations to our children, to our parents and future generations by cutting vital programs to finance tax cuts bigger than we can afford. I urge my colleagues to reject the underlying bill and do better for the American people.
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