Let Go Of Your Nose Senator Specter
Right now in the U.S. Senate, lawmakers are to debate the conference budget bill passed by the house early Monday morning. The bill has many proposals that will adversely affect low-income people across the generations. The AARP has warned against the Medicare and Medicaid cuts and regulations. The CBPP (The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) reports the bill's negative impact to poor and low-income people receiving food stamps and welfare. Many groups from higher education have called on Congress to expand Pell in depth and in breadth and this bill does not come close to doing either.
Democratic Senator Max Baucus, from the finance committee, urges other Senators to vote no on the bill in the Senate today. Part of his rationale is the bill has, "an unreasonable austere welfare program in a vehicle where it doesn't belong." We applaud his leadership on this issue. The slapped together leviathan of a budget bill is full of unsavory parts that even Senate republicans note. In the Washington Post today, Jonathan Weisman quotes Senator Arlen Specter as saying, "It is a bill to hold one's nose and let it go through." Perhaps Specter can say this because he does not have to swallow this bitter pill.
We invite the Senate to lead the legislative branch in a reasoned and more democratic approach. We can unite today in working toward a common vision of people involved in the policymaking that affects them so deeply. Thousands of New York groups and advocates have been active in urging Congress to look at health care, social security, education and welfare in a proactive way to safeguard public health, advance the middle class and reverse current policy trends that are escalating poverty.
Let go your nose, Senators, do not pass this piece of legislation. We can breath together and craft better policy that befits the American dream.