Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-IL-2) today criticized the Republican Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, linking it to the earlier Ryan-Republican-Romney Budget Act. Rep. Jackson said, "Both reflect the same economic philosophy: take money from the middle class and the poor as an economic incentive, but give money to millionaires and billionaires as an economic incentive - with the hope that it will eventually trickle down to the rest of us. It didn't work under Presidents Herbert Hoover or George W. Bush and there's no reason to believe it will work under this GOP Reconciliation Bill.
"I, along with my Democratic colleagues, believe the sequester - that makes indiscriminate across-the-board cuts in both defense and domestic spending - should be replaced, but with a responsible proposal that includes both spending cuts and revenue increases. This GOP Reconciliation Bill makes hurtful cuts but refuses to increase revenues.
"Here are some of the cuts and the people who will be hurt by this GOP Reconciliation Bill:
Assaults Women's Health by Eliminating the Prevention & Public Health Fund - 326,000 women would not get breast cancer screenings they are slated to receive in FY 2013; 284,000 women would not get cervical cancer screenings they are slated to receive in FY 2013
Harming Children - The CBO estimates that, by repealing states' Medicaid and CHIP maintenance-of-effort requirements, the bill would increase the number of uninsured children by at least 300,000 in 2015. Another 300,000 children would lose free or reduced-priced school meals. By eliminating the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), the bill eliminates efforts to help prevent child abuse and neglect by providing child protective services for 1.8 million at-risk children. By eliminating the SSBG, the bill eliminates support for low-income parents returning to work, like child care and related assistance for 4.4 million children.
Harming Seniors - 1.7 million seniors would lose "Meals on Wheels" and other home-based services.
Weakens Consumer Protect - It puts families at risk of the same predatory practices that in part led to the financial crisis."
Jackson said, "The bill is opposed by numerous organizations, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the NEA, the American Heart Association, the Public Health Association and the American Diabetes Association among many others. The Inter-Religious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs said, 'While we must address our deficits, we must not do so at the expense of low-income families, and we urge you to prioritize poor and vulnerable populations in federal budget decisions .Because of the cuts to programs and services to low-income individuals, we urge you to vote against the reconciliation bill.'
"The American Public Health Association said, 'This misguided legislation would not solve our nation's deficit problems and instead would impose significant cuts to important safety net programs, cut public health funding and set the country on a dangerous path toward deeper cuts in nondefense discretionary spending down the line.'
Jackson said in conclusion, "I don't support this GOP Bill or the cuts and I hear what you're saying about the poor and the middle class. I definitely will be voting "No" on this bill."