KENNEDY CHARGES REPUBLICANS WITH MISPLACED PRIORITIES LABOR H BILL IS A TURKEY THAT WON’T FLY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Tom Harkin and Dick Durbin held a press conference to discuss the Labor HHS Appropriations conference report. Republican conferees stripped funding for avian flu preparedness, and the final proposal also lacks adequate resources for key education, health care, and job training initiatives.
“This bill affects the lives of every single American, and it lets them down. It fails our commitments to the education of our children, to our health care, to the poor, and to our jobs-- in order to secure tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans,” Senator Kennedy said. “At a time when we should be moving forward, and helping families meet the challenges of higher costs, this bill moves us backward. This bill makes life harder for millions and millions of Americans, and that’s wrong.” This agreement cuts discretionary funding by $450 million below the FY05 level. But the real figure is more like $1.3 billion, because the agreement includes additional Medicare administration costs that used to be paid for through mandatory spending. This bill comes up short in virtually every critical area of need. The situation will only get worse if Republicans impose the rumored across-the-board cut against all non-defense and homeland security programs.Following is a department-by-department summary and below are Senator Kennedy’s remarks: