August 4, 1995 - Issue: Vol. 141, No. 129 — Daily Edition104th Congress (1995 - 1996) - 1st Session
DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1996; Congressional Record Vol. 141, No. 129
(Extensions of Remarks - August 04, 1995)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E1638] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] DEPARTMENTS OF LABOR, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, AND EDUCATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1996 ______ speech of HON. VIC FAZIO of california in the house of representatives Wednesday, August 2, 1995 The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2127) making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies, for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996, and for other purposes: Mr. FAZIO of California. Mr. Chairman, this bill is an outrage, and it deserves to be repudiated and rejected by every member of this body. This bill is unfair to the people who depend most on our government; our children and the elderly. This bill is shortsighted. It does not provide for investment in students and workers--the very people who will grow our economy. This bill cuts $6.3 billion from programs that average working families depend on. Why? The unvarnished truth is that my Republican colleagues feel the need to finance a tax break that goes largely for wealthy Americans. Don't buy the argument that this is just for deficit reduction. Every Democrat in this House is prepared and committed to bring our budget into balance, and provide a solvent, secure future for our children. Yet, one-half of the cuts in this bill are stolen directly from the single best investment we can make in our future: Education. Overall spending on education has been slashed by nearly $4 billion. Few children have been spared. Some of the most significant and effective programs for kids--including title 1, School-to-Work, and safe and Drug-free Schools--are subject to potentially crippling cuts. It's an exhaustive list, and frankly, to reduce this bill to a series of programmatic cuts, masks the underlying meanness of this bill. In its breadth and scope, this bill is simply a monster of inequity. If you're the principal wage earner in a hard-working family, or you've found yourself among the growing ranks of the working poor, and you desire to provide a brighter future for our children, this bill is a declaration of war. In fact this bill declares war on opportunity. This bill puts politics ahead of principle. This bill values pay-offs ahead of the needs of people. This much is certain. The Republicans don't discriminate. That is, if you're not on the receiving end of the Republican tax bail-out--if you're elderly, poor, young, unemployed, or just struggling to get by-- you suffer in equal measure. Seniors fare no better than our children. This bill sends a strong message to our senior citizens that their past efforts are no longer acknowledged, and that their current contributions are no longer appreciated. This bill guts the Older Americans Act, including Green Thumb. It targets other programs which provide preventive health support, pension and Medicare counseling, and home meals to a growing senior population. This bill undercuts the health and safety of American workers. It undermines the enforcement of hour and wage laws. It makes it more difficult for people who have lost their jobs to find new jobs by slashing job training. Some of the most vulnerable members of our society are subject to the most extreme--the most harmful--and the most mean-spirited provisions in this bill. If this bill is passed, victims of rape and incest will no longer be guaranteed the right to an abortion. I urge my colleagues to stand up for working families and reject this bill. Don't allow the Gingrich Republicans to sell us down the river so they can reward their wealthy friends. ____________________