Week of February 2, 2004

For Immediate Release:

February 2, 2004

Contact:

» Please view "The Weekly Whip" for the week of February 2, 2004

Floor items that you may want to do press on:

Ø      President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2005 Budget

Ø      H.R. 3030 - Improving the Community Services Block Grant Act of 2003

President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Proposal

President Bush will release his Fiscal Year 2005 Budget Proposal this Monday, February 2nd. 

The Office of the House Democratic Whip has posted a 2005 Budget Clearinghouse on our home page.  The issue pages are listed below (point, hit control and click to open) and may be helpful in preparing a response to the President’s budget.  More information will be added over the weekend and throughout next week.

Please see the attached excerpt from the Minority Views (issued Thursday, October 9, 2003) regarding H.R. 3030, which outlines the Committee Democrats’ reservations with this bill.

“H.R. 3030, “Improving the Community Services Block Grant Act of 2003”, as reported, strengthens and improves the CSBG program. H.R. 3030 enhances accountability on the local, State and Federal levels, and gives extra emphasis to CSBG’s top priority – reducing poverty. The provisions’ improving accountability should mean better service delivery and higher quality services for people and communities. The Minority strongly supports the CSBG program and the provisions in the reported legislation and believes they will help improve the quality of services to low-income individuals and families so that communities can more effectively move people toward self-sufficiency.

However, because H.R. 3030 fails to correct provisions in current laws that allow discrimination against beneficiaries of services based on religion and permits religious organizations receiving funds under this Act to discriminate in employment based on religion, the Minority opposes the reported bill.While we agree with the Majority that these provisions have existed in current law for five years, we cannot condone the continuation of discriminatory policies in any context.”