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Berkley Warns GOP Budget Will Slash Vital Services For Nevada Families

Location: Washington, DC

Berkley Warns GOP Budget Will Slash Vital Services For Nevada Families

Funds for Special Education, Medicaid, Child Support Collection on Chopping Block

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV) today warned that new Republican budget cuts being pushed in Congress will slash funding for services in Nevada like Medicaid, special education and child support collection, while raising fees on student loans.

"Republicans claim that these cuts will pay for Hurricane Katrina relief, but, in fact, these dollars will be used to pay for more tax cuts that we cannot afford. The Republican plan actually increases the deficit by more than $100 billion, even as it cuts services vitally important to the families I represent in Las Vegas," said Berkley.

"One in every five Nevadans lacks health insurance, yet the Republican budget slashes $10 billion from Medicaid. Cutting these funds will impact more than 200,000 children, seniors and disabled in Nevada who rely solely on Medicaid for their health care. This budget also allows Nevada and other states, for the first time, to charge some Medicaid-eligible children premiums and co-payments -- further reducing their access to health care and driving up the cost to their families," said Berkley.

Shockingly, the Republican budget cuts federal funding for child support enforcement, which will result in a reduction of $180 million in child support collections over the next 10 years, slashing child support payments to single parents who are struggling to provide for their children.

Berkley also expressed concerns about the impact on education in southern Nevada, should the GOP cuts pass. "Republicans claim that their policies leave no child behind, but then they want to slash more than $6.8 million in funding to help disadvantaged students with reading and math, to improve our classrooms, and to fund special education needs in Nevada. If they're successful, another $2.4 million will be taken from Nevada Head Start programs, denying even more of our children a chance at early education," said Berkley.

At a time when college tuition continues to skyrocket, Berkley noted that the Republican budget slashes student loans by more than $14 billion - increasing the costs for more than 18,250 student borrowers in Nevada. This includes raising student loan interest rate caps and raising interest rates and fees on student borrowers who consolidate their loans.

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