Week of May 10, 2004

For Immediate Release:

May 10, 2004

Contact:

» Please view "The Weekly Whip" for the week of May 10, 2004

Items you may want to do press on:

  • Cover the Uninsured Week
  • H.R. 4275 - Permanent extension of 10% income tax bracket
  • Conference Report on H.Con.Res. 393 - Republican Budget Resolution for FY 2005
Note: The Week of May 9th to May 15th is National Police Week and May 15th is National Peace Officers Memorial Day.  More information on these events may be found at www.nleomf.org/.  Also attached is a sample op-ed on this week of recognition.
Cover the Uninsured Week
 
Republicans will bring to the Floor three "health care" bills next week which have little to do with covering uninsured Americans. 
  • H.R. 4279 - Health Savings Accounts
  • H.R. 4280 - Medical Malpractice bill
  • H.R. 4281 - Association Health Plans
Rather than taking immediate, effective action to provide health care to the 43 million uninsured Americans, Republicans will once again consider legislation that has already passed the House.
 
Democrats, led by by Ways and Means Ranking Democrat Charlie Rangel (NY) and Energy and Commerce Ranking Democrat John Dingell, will introduce two Democratic bills next week which will actually address the problem of the uninsured.  Both bills are intended to increase access to affordable health coverage by expanding access to public programs (Medicaid, SCHIP and Medicare) that are already proven to successfully target growing segments of the uninsured, such as retirees and low-income parents.
 
More details on the two Democratic bills will be available next week. 

Permanent extension of 10% income tax bracket

This bill is the third in a series of four tax bills that the House Republicans are bringing to the Floor over consecutive weeks in order to provide political cover to their marginal members.  They have openly stated to the press that they don't expect these bills to become law.

This is a good opportunity for Democrats to reiterate their support for fiscally responsible middle-class tax relief as we will offer a better bill, which will be fiscally responsible.

More details on the Republican and Democratic bills will be available next week.

Conference Report on Fiscal Year 2005 Republican Budget Resolution
 
Republican infighting continues to bog down the 2005 Budget Resolution.  It appears unlikely that a conference report will come to the Floor next week.  However, Democrats should continue to talk about Republican refusal to include in the budget a real "pay-as-you-go" provision to rein in the record deficits caused by irresponsible Republican policies.
 
The Senate Budget would reinstate expired "pay-as-you-go" rules that mandate offsets for new tax cuts and entitlement spending.
 
The House Democratic Budget contained similar "pay-as-you-go" language, and Democrats offered a motion to instruct conferees to accept the Senate "pay-as-you-go" language during House passage.
 
Democrats led by Congressman Dennis Moore (KS) offered another motion to instruct conferees this past week to accept the Senate "pay-as-you-go" language and will again next week.
 
Both House and Senate Republican Leaders refuse to support real "pay-as-you-go" and fiscally responsible policies, and want to hide from any accountability.  President Bush included "pay-as-you-go" in his first three budgets, but has now flip-flopped and opposes it.
 
A vote for the Republican Budget Conference Report will also be a vote to raise the debt limit for the third time since the Bush Administration came to office in 2001.  The debt limit was $5.9 trillion when George W. Bush took office and had not been raised in the previous four years.  Passage of this FY05 conference report will spin off a resolution to increase the debt limit by another $700 billion that will be deemed to have passed the House.  Such an action is another attempt to hide from any accountability and will result in raising the debt limit to $8.1 trillion in FY05.
 
The GOP budget anticipates having to borrow trillions more in the future and eventually will increase our nation's debt to $10.4 trillion in FY09.  Last year the Republican budget anticipated a debt of $10.1 trillion in FY09 and more than $12 trillion for FY13.
 
A vote for the conference report is, in effect, a vote to increase the debt burden by $2,000 on every man, woman, and child in the United States without any honest debate or accountability.
 
The Democratic Whip Website's Budget Clearinghouse section on Fiscal Responsibility may help you in doing press on House Democratic support for  fiscal responsibility and real "pay-as-you-go," and House Republicans' refusal to seriously tackle the ballooning deficits that are threatening Social Security, Medicare and our ability to invest in America's future.