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Clay Blasts Republican Budget That Ends Medicare, Guts Medicaid

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Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri today blasted the just-approved House Republican Fiscal Year 2012 budget as "A complete betrayal of the greatest generation that will harm seniors, destroy American jobs and weaken the middle-class."

"Today, the Republicans voted to end Medicare as we know it," said the Congressman. "They broke a sacred promise to our seniors and they should be ashamed of themselves. Under the Republican budget plan, seniors will be forced to pay twice as much for half the healthcare benefits that they currently receive. Besides ending Medicare, the Republican budget guts Medicaid…depriving seniors of quality nursing home care when they need it the most. And it gives huge tax breaks to big oil and the very wealthy, while punishing middle-class families. The Republicans have spent their first 100 days in the House Majority on political theatrics to please the extremist Tea Party wing of their party, instead of trying to work in a bipartisan way to help create jobs. That's not what the American people sent us here to do."

Mr. Clay continued, "We have to restore fiscal sanity to the federal budget by reducing spending and paying down the national debt. I absolutely support that effort. But, the key question is how we do that. We will never achieve a balanced budget and a strong economy by punishing seniors and the weakest among us while rewarding huge corporations and oil companies with more tax breaks and subsidies while they ship American jobs overseas. There should be no sacred cows in this process, including defense spending."

The Republican budget plan helps the rich and harms the poor. After extending the Bush tax cuts permanently, it cuts the top rate for individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent. It also slashes Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps, and low-income housing. These critical programs make a huge difference to moderate income families, especially during these difficult economic times.

"It's outrageous to try to balance the budget on the backs of those who suffer the most, while giving more tax breaks to the very few who have accumulated tremendous wealth, even while most American struggle to recover their economic security," said Mr. Clay.


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