Democrat Iowa Senator Tom Harkin is renewing his criticism of Congressional Republicans, who he says are offering “disgraceful, irresponsible” legislation. Harkin says the latest proposals would cut million of dollars in funding from programs like heating assistance, health care and education. Harkin says his proposed eight-billion dollar amendment to prepare the nation for an avian influenza epidemic was also eliminated.
Harkin says he’s done everything in his power to prod the administration to “get moving” on avian flu, but now his proposal is gone with only “vague assurances” from the G-O-P that they’ll get around to it at a later date. Harkin says he’s exasperated by the Republican leaders.
He says the Republicans aren’t putting off plans to cut taxes 60-billion dollars but apparently they see preparing the nation for an epidemic as something that “can wait until next month or next year. These are the wrong priorities and the wrong values, totally out of touch with the needs of the country.” He says “Iowans are looking for fairness, compassion and a return to fiscal sanity. What the Republicans are doing now, ramming through more tax cuts for the wealthy while slashing critical programs for the needy and middle class, takes us exactly in the wrong direction.”