Congressman Loebsack issued the following statement after the House Leadership passed its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012. The budget would force Iowa seniors who are in the Medicare donut hole to pay $28 million more for prescription drugs in 2012 alone. It would also cut college aid by 45% for the more than 19,000 students in the Second District who receive Pell Grants.
"Far too many Iowa families have had to tighten their belts over the last few years, and just like Iowans, Washington must start living within its means. There is no question that putting ourselves back on a fiscally responsible path will require tough choices and shared sacrifice. But, the sweeping cuts included in the budget proposal today will hurt everyone from our children to our seniors, and will jeopardize our nation's future economic growth.
"The bill that passed today does not work for Iowa families. By ending Medicare as we know it, the bill breaks the promise to Iowa seniors who have worked hard all of their lives by more than doubling the amount they would have to pay for their health care.
"This proposal also slashes investments in education for our children, undercutting their ability to compete for good paying jobs and weakening our future economic strength. It includes the largest cuts in the history of Pell Grants, slashing the maximum Pell Grant award by 45 percent, making it harder and even impossible in some cases for deserving students to afford the quality education Iowa colleges and universities provide.
"Despite what some in Washington may think, the economy has not recovered and Iowa families are still struggling. We cannot pull the rug out from under them now. We must promote an economy that works for Iowa families and paves the way for ongoing economic growth and a strong future for our children, while upholding the promises we made to our nation's seniors."