Washington, D.C. – Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today warned that the government funding bill approved by the House of Representatives over the weekend will lead to severe job losses, endanger key programs in California and across the nation, and put the country at risk for another recession.
“What we saw in the House was an ideological budget-cutting session. If they didn’t like a program, they cut it. Unfortunately, cutting by political bias produced a bill that will slash hundreds of thousands of jobs, many in the private sector,” said Senator Feinstein.
“We need to look carefully at our spending and we need to make cuts, but those cuts can’t be politically motivated and they shouldn’t put us at risk for another recession. Chairman Inouye has asked us to come up with funding levels that are fiscally responsible but still make smart investments in our economy and our communities, and that’s what the Senate will do.
“Washington needs to rein in spending. But we can’t do that if we use a political litmus test to pick and choose which programs to cut. We need a responsible approach on the budget that will lower spending while maintaining our focus on growing the economy, creating jobs, and investing in the future.”
Key programs eliminated:
- The renewable energy loan guarantee program would be terminated, ending negotiations for dozens of clean energy projects, including 24 in California that would power hundreds of thousands of homes with clean energy and would create up to 76,000 jobs.
- House Republicans eliminate the federal High Speed and Intercity Rail initiative, cutting $6.1 billion and placing an estimated 200,000 jobs at risk. That includes $1 billion that funds 27 separate projects in California, which would mean a direct loss of tens of thousands of jobs. In all, 54 projects in 23 states would be halted. Also, federal grants for rail safety, including Positive Train Control in California, would be eliminated.
- The bill eliminates funding for Title X Family Planning Programs, cutting more than $317 million used to serve more than 5 million low income women and men in 4,400 clinics nationwide each year. Eliminated services include education, counseling, cancer screening, pap tests, breast and pelvic exams, prenatal, and well baby care. Federal law prohibits any Title X money from being used for abortion services.
- House Republicans stop the Environmental Protection Agency from implementing the Clean Air Act’s requirement that new or expanded refineries, power plants and other stationary polluters obtain permits for greenhouse gas pollution that endangers public health. Since the Clean Air Act requires these permits, it would effectively halt new construction and hamstring EPA’s efforts to slow global warming.
- House Republicans eliminate a $15 billion commitment to prevention, wellness, and public health activities. Chronic disease costs the United States $1 trillion annually in lost productivity, and these funds are a key strategy in lowering that number.
- The evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative at the Office of Adolescent Health would be eliminated, cutting the initiative’s full $110 million budget. Teen childbearing is estimated to cost taxpayers $9.1 billion annually.
- The $55 million U.S. contribution to the United Nations Populations Fund would be eliminated and “global gag rule,” known as the Mexico City language, reinstated. That language prohibits funding to family planning groups that use their own money to discuss abortion or provide abortion related services.
Key programs cut by more than 20 percent:
- The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E, receives $50 million, a reduction of 83 percent from the president’s fiscal 2011 request. This would severely damage efforts to move away from fossil fuels.
- House Republicans cut $1 billion from Community Health Centers, or 45.8 percent below fiscal year 2010 levels. This would affect 2.8 million Americans who use these clinics as their primary care provider, limiting services at more than 1,000 centers and eliminating services at 127 clinics. More than 5,000 health center staff would be out of a job.
- The bill cuts approximately $2 billion from EPA’s State Revolving Funds, which provide local communities with grants and loans to upgrade water and wastewater systems. This is a 43.6 percent cut below current levels. Without these funds, 33,600 jobs would be lost and 668 projects halted.
- All research and development in the Energy Department is cut by $1.9 billion, or 22 percent—a direct loss of 9,400 jobs and a severe reduction of funds for California labs and universities.
- Funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cut by $1.4 billion, or 21 percent, reducing the ability to prevent disease and promote public health.
Key programs cut by at least 10 percent:
- House Republicans slash funding for the Energy Department by $3.6 billion, or 13.2 percent of current funding levels. Those cuts would directly eliminate 15,000 jobs and indirectly affect thousands more.
- Head Start is cut by $1.1 billion, 14 percent below current funding levels and $500 million below 2008 levels. Head Start would cut service to 218,000 children, 16,000 classrooms would be closed, and 55,000 teachers and related staff laid off.