Rep. Gene Green Urges Responsible Spending Bill
February 16, 2011
Washington, D.C .- Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) announced his opposition to H.R. 1, Fiscal Year Continuing Appropriations Act for FY2011 because of irresponsible cuts made to community health centers, education, local infrastructure, and public safety programs.
“I support a tough review of federal spending, but making drastic cuts to programs that directly benefit our communities and will come at the expense of good jobs, a strong job base, as well as a growing economy are irresponsible,” said Rep. Green. “The Republicans have taken a bulldozer to many important local programs without taking into account the unintended consequences to our communities. This approach will not reduce the deficit. Instead, it will place a burden on our local economy and may set our nation on a course toward a double-dip recession. ”
The Republican Continuing Resolution will cut $1.3 billion funding for the community health center program. These cuts may have a direct impact on the sustainability and growth of our local community health centers including El Centro de Corazon, Denver Harbor Clinic, and Pasadena Health Center. Nationally, this reduction in funding will result in 11 million patients over the next year not receiving the care they need, 127 health centers in underserved districts across the country will have to close, and health care system costs will rise as patients who cannot access primary care seek treatment in our already overcrowded emergency rooms.
“As a long-time champion of the community health center program, I am appalled the Republicans would dramatically reduce funding to a proven successful program that benefits the most vulnerable populations throughout the U.S.,” Rep. Green said. “Forcing medically underserved individuals to seek care in emergency rooms rather than community health centers will result in skyrocketing costs to the Medicaid program. As the Texas Medicaid program is already facing cuts from the state legislature, this new Congressional Majority was elected to work on a responsible budgetary solution and not to force the states to pick up the tab on the medically underserved by cost shifting.”
The Republican spending bill will also cut many important education programs resulting in more than 200,000 children being forced to leave the Head Start program, and thousands of teachers getting fired because of a $1.1 billion funding loss. Students across Texas will lose $444.8 million in Pell Grant funding resulting in an average individual reduction of $679 and over 800 students losing access altogether.
“Education is the crucial investment our nation can take to stay competitive internationally and ensure our children’s prosperity,” continued Rep. Green. “Head Start provides comprehensive developmental and educational services to three and four year olds in the greatest financial need. Kicking children out of a successful program that prepares them for elementary school and beyond and firing thousands of teachers is the wrong direction for our country.”