Democrat Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is crying foul over Republicans’ plans to cut spending, which Harkin says will hurt families, farmers and the poor. A vote’s expected in the Senate today on what’s called the Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act.
Harkin says “This bill and its companion tax bill don’t reduce the deficit, they increase it by 35-billion dollars. Despite massive spending on (Hurricane) Katrina and the Iraq war, despite record deficits, Republicans are using this budget process to force through another 70-billion dollars in tax cuts, largely for the most fortunate people in this country.”
Harkin says to make room for all of the tax cuts, 35-billion dollars will be cut from vital programs “for working Americans, family farmers, students, seniors on fixed incomes.” Harkin singles out Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle, chair of the House Budget Committee, for more deep cuts in food assistance, support for children in foster care, Medicaid and enforcement of child support payments.
Harkin calls it “mind-boggling,” adding, “It’s bad enough to increase the deficit, but there’s only one word for cutting programs for our most needy citizens in order to make room for more tax cuts for the wealthy. This is just plain immoral.”
Harkin is introducing a resolution today that would put the Senate on record opposing the House plan to cut child support enforcement programs by 40-percent. The program forces deadbeat moms and dads to support their children. Harkin says the cuts in Iowa would mean children would lose 240-million dollars over the next ten years.