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Hare: Bush Budget a Continuation of Misguided Priorities

Press Release

Hare: Bush Budget a Continuation of Misguided Priorities

Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement in response to President Bush's proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget.

"Instead of doing the responsible thing and letting his misguided tax breaks for the rich expire, the President is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of working families.

"The President's budget proposes massive cuts to Medicare and Medicaid—which would cause great harm to the over 3.5 million Illinoisans who rely on those programs for their health care.

"It fails to sufficiently fund education priorities—again substantially undercutting resources necessary to implement requirements under No Child Left Behind.

"It cuts the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by 14 percent, leaving approximately 15,000 Illinois households out in the cold.

"It inexplicably reduces assistance to dislocated workers at a time when President Bush's unfair trade policies continue to hemorrhage good-paying manufacturing jobs—many from my district.

"It funds the Federal-Aid Highways Program $800 million below the level needed to maintain current services. Illinois alone will lose $20,673,000—making it nearly impossible to build, rehabilitate, and improve our roads and bridges—including the 46 that are structurally deficient in my district.

"It proposes to cut the general construction account for the US Army Corps of Engineers by $121 billion, greatly impacting ongoing levee repair and ecosystem restoration along the Mississippi River.

"It drastically cuts funding for Amtrak—hindering the possibility of a new line from the Quad-Cities to Chicago.

"Finally, it requests $1.6 billion less for VA health care than the Veterans Service Organizations' Independent Budget says is necessary.

"I will work with my colleagues in the House to craft a budget that fully invests in health care, education, job training, transportation, and our veterans. With more and more working families losing their grip on the American Dream, we have a moral obligation to expand assistance in these important areas, not cut back."