Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) opposed appropriations measures presented by both parties today because neither takes a balanced approach to deficit reduction. The GOP plan cuts vital services to vulnerable citizens to avoid reductions in Pentagon spending. The bill guts funding for food stamps, free school lunches, cancer screenings for women who can't afford them, and services that help elderly and handicapped individuals remain independent.
"It's unconscionable that some in Congress refuse to cut Pentagon spending, even when it means taking food out of the mouths of starving children to pay for their unwillingness to make real choices," Himes said. "We've left Iraq and we're drawing down troops in Afghanistan. Our tax code is broken, and we won't be able to afford programs like Medicare that people desperately need if we do not make reforms. Our deficit problem is serious now, but it will become grave if we do not act quickly. The games on both sides need to stop--it's time to act on a real plan to reduce the deficit in a way that doesn't ask the poor to the carry the burden of tax cuts for the most affluent among us and decades of poor fiscal decisions."
H.R. 5652 would impose deep budget cuts that cost jobs and hurt middle class and vulnerable Americans -- especially seniors, veterans, and children. It slashes billions in vital services and cancels the budget cuts to defense spending Republicans and Democrats agreed upon in the Budget Control Act (the August 2011 debt-limit deal). The bill Republicans passed today protects Pentagon spending from the BCA agreement and does so in a way that undermines critical domestic priorities, such as efforts to prevent hunger and support low-income families and communities; to expand health care access and implement the Affordable Care Act; to protect consumers and implement the Wall Street Reform Act; and to support homeowners struggling to stay in their homes.
In March, Himes was one of 38 Members of Congress to support the only House budget plan that garnered bipartisan support. Unlike other budget proposals offered thus far, the bipartisan budget amendment Himes supported mixes cuts and revenue increases to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years while improving the nation's safety net.