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Maureen Lane

Hurried votes get a second chance

Hurried votes and harried clerks don't often help the process to pass good legislation and they can make mistakes. According to "The Hill," budget reconciliation is still not settled. With some in Congress stating they will push for another vote, the bill signed by the President still seems in limbo.

The NYS Congressional delegation may have a chance to recast their votes and Representatives Fossella, King and Kelly need to rethink voting party line. Their vote won't help the poor, low-income or any families in NYS.

New York's poverty rate has risen in the last five years. We have 21% of families living below the poverty level and another 21% living under 200% of poverty. And so that we are clear, the poverty level is less than $20,000 a year for a family of 4 and almost a quarter of NY families live below that line. That is painful.

The federal budget bill has a lot of cuts to poor households. The bill added payments for people receiving Medicaid. Studies show that the poor will suffer most and families end up delaying needed medical care when payments are required to get medical treatment.

The bill sets workfare participation rates that will hurt families and further undermine New York's commitment to support the needy and provide access to programs and services that will help poor and low-income people create brighter futures for themselves and their families. The bill Representatives Fossella, King and Kelly voted for will negatively impact poor children.

The congress gets back to business next week. Representatives need to know that as long as there is a chance of a revote in the offing, we expect, Fossella, King and Kelly to use the chance to rethink their positions. New York expects its congressional delegation, democrats and republicans, to get it right in the end even if a few missed it the first time.

Maureen Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 6:02 PM, Feb 24, 2006 in Federal Budget | Welfare
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