Late in the evening of March 11, the House Budget Committee – on a party-line vote of 24 to 19 – voted out a House GOP budget resolution. Following are talking points on how this House GOP resolution is even worse than the highly-inadequate Bush budget!
- Only sets aside $28 billion in new money for Medicare prescription drugs – which is $372 billion less than the $400 billion contained in the Bush budget. Amazingly, even though the nation’s seniors groups have stated that the $400 billion for Medicare prescription drugs is inadequate, the House GOP budget cuts this amount to $28 billion! Although technically the budget earmarks an inadequate $138 billion for prescription drugs, it also states that all but $28 billion must come from other Medicare or Medicaid cuts. Hence, the budget sets aside only $28 billion in new money over 10 years for a prescription drug benefit.
- Cuts agriculture programs by $19 billion. The House GOP budget resolution requires the Agriculture Committee to report legislation making $19 billion in cuts in agriculture programs over the next 10 years. The American Farm Bureau Federation has stated, “We just don’t think with the state of agriculture right now we can take the cuts [in the House GOP resolution.]”
- Cuts veterans’ mandatory programs by $15 billion. The House GOP budget resolution requires the Veterans Affairs Committee to report legislation making $15 billion in cuts in veterans’ mandatory programs over the next 10 years.
- Cuts domestic discretionary spending by $10 billion in FY 2004 and by $115 billion over 10 years BELOW the already-inadequate Bush budget. The Bush budget already holds domestic discretionary spending below the inflation rate – resulting in cuts in real terms. Now, the House GOP budget makes even further cuts in domestic discretionary programs – cutting them beyond the Bush budget by $10 billion in FY 2004 and by $115 billion over 10 years. These cuts include:
- Education and Training. Cuts education and training by $2.3 billion in FY 2004 and by $25.9 billion over 10 years below the Bush budget;
- Health Care. Cuts discretionary health care programs by $1.6 billion in FY 2004 and by $17.1 billion over 10 years below the Bush budget;
- Environment. Cuts environmental programs by $0.9 billion in FY 2004 and by $9.8 billion over 10 years below the Bush budget; and
- Discretionary Veterans. Cuts discretionary veterans’ programs by $0.8 billion in FY 2004 and by $9.7 billion over 10 years below the Bush budget.