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“The American people won’t stand for a government that puts irresponsible tax breaks for the wealthy ahead of funding for health care and other assistance for our families that need help the most. Katrina shined a light on the great disparities in the country, and its time for Washington to reevaluate its priorities.Over the last four years, the rich have gotten richer, while four million more Americans fell into poverty. Families are facing a 60% increase in energy costs to heat their homes this winter, the nation is running a record deficit, we are facing billions of dollars in costs to fulfill our commitment to rebuild the gulf coast, and last month we had the highest increase in inflation since 1980. America deserves a government as good as its people, and it’s time we give the American people the support and leadership they need and deserve. The HELP bill provides over $9 billion in additional aid and benefits to students struggling to go to college. It also comes up with the savings by cutting bank subsidies, not student benefits. So it is a good bipartisan compromise. But as we move to the Floor, I will not be able to support cuts to services to the poor in an effort to give wealthy people irresponsible tax breaks. “