Today the House of Representatives voted to pass legislation (H.R. 5652) that protects tax breaks for millionaires by cutting Medicare for seniors, health care for kids, food and nutrition assistance for struggling families, and vital federal services for working Americans. Representative Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and Ranking Member of the Social Security Subcommittee, voted against the legislation and released the following statement:
""As a country, our best days have come when we have pulled together to forge through whatever the crisis. On those "all-hands-on-deck' moments, Americans of all stripes have always stepped up when called to duty.
As a country, we continue to recover from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, which was in large part caused by years of selfish deregulation and lax oversight of unscrupulous Wall Street banks--not by senior citizens who rely on the Meals on Wheels service or working families who can barely afford to put food on their table. Yet today, it's the most vulnerable who Republicans have targeted to pay the price for the failed policies of the past.
After missing a huge "all-hands-on-deck' opportunity on the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to put forward a balanced proposal to create jobs and cut the federal deficit, House Republicans have decided to balance the budget on the backs of seniors, children, the disabled and struggling middle class families while protecting tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.
Today's actions are far out of step with the principles, priorities and tradition of the American people--educating our youth, creating millions of good paying jobs and strengthening the middle class. The American people deserve better."
Impact of H.R. 5652, Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012:
Eliminates the Social Services Block Grant program, which provides assistance for roughly 23 million Americans, including:
Child care and related assistance for 4.4 million children,
"Meals on Wheels" and other home-based services for nearly 1.7 million older Americans,
Child protective services for 1.8 million at-risk children,
Transportation, respite care and other services for nearly 1 million disabled individuals.
Cuts the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which provided 61 communities and states with funding in fiscal year 2011 to implement health and wellness programs and benefited approximately 120 million Americans, according to HHS.
Targets federal employees by cutting gross federal employee pay by 5% by increasing employee contributions to FERS (from 0.8% to 5.8% of gross salary) and CSRS (from 7% to 12% of gross salary) pension programs, at a time when federal employees are already under a two-year pay freeze.