House Republicans are seeking to defund law enforcement, disrupt Medicare service for seniors, make it easier for the wealthy to cheat on their taxes, increase rural energy costs, take preschool away from 80,000 children in Head Start, eliminate 20,000 Housing Choice Vouchers
Government shutdown would freeze pay to our military service members, close National Parks, further strain air travel, disrupt SNAP assistance to needy families and more
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper today released the following statement on House Republicans’ fringe demands to avoid a catastrophic government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2023:
“A government shutdown would be catastrophic. It would disrupt much of our country, including freezing military service members’ pay, delaying Medicare payments to seniors and closing our National Parks.
“There’s a process for getting a federal budget done, but it involves everyone working in good faith and looking for space to compromise.
“Instead of coming to the table, House Republicans are barricading themselves and almost using military and seniors as hostages.”
House Republicans have demanded the following unreasonable cuts to government funding:
- Slash Funding for Law Enforcement: The proposed cut to the FBI would eliminate up to 1,850 personnel, including up to 673 agents, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be forced to eliminate approximately 400 positions, including more than 200 agents. The House bill also cuts funding for U.S. Attorneys by roughly 12 percent, which would eliminate approximately 1,400 positions. With fewer law enforcement officers fighting crime and prosecutors holding people accountable, these cuts will make our communities less safe.
- Raise Housing Costs for Tens of Thousands: The proposed cuts would raise housing costs by eliminating funding for Housing Choice Vouchers for 20,000 households, including approximately 6,000 households headed by seniors. In addition, a nearly 70 percent cut to the HOME Investment Partnerships Program would result in 20,000 fewer affordable homes being constructed, rehabbed, or purchased in communities across the country.
- Protect Wealthy Tax Cheats: House Republicans are fighting to make it easier for wealthy tax cheats to avoid paying what they owe—proposing to rescind $67 billion dollars in funding for the IRS enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, which would increase the deficit by more than $100 billion.
- Increase Risks of Lead Exposure: The proposal would rescind over $564 million in funding for programs that mitigate housing-related risks of lead poisoning and other illnesses and hazards to lower income families, especially children, resulting in 55,000 fewer homes safe of hazards and adversely impacting approximately 78,000 children.
- Take Preschool Away from 82,000 children of Preschool Slots: House Republicans’ cut to Head Start would mean as many as 82,000 children would lose access to high-quality preschool—undermining their education, leaving fewer children ready to enter kindergarten ready to learn, and making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce and contribute to our economy.
- Increase Energy Costs for Rural Americans: Rescinding $2 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for programs at USDA would undermine programs that help agricultural producers and rural small businesses convert to renewable energy systems, and that help rural Americans to build clean, affordable, and reliable energy by working with approximately 900 electric cooperatives in 47 States.
- Shortchange Home Electrification Projects: Rescinding $4.5 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program would impact at least 250,000 home electrification and appliance upgrade projects in low- and medium-income homes across all States, territories, and tribes.
- Slash Funding for Schools with Low-Income Students: House Republicans’ 80 percent cut to Title I funding would impact 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students by forcing a reduction of up to 226,000 teachers, aides or other key staff.
- Slash Critical Job Training and Workforce Development Programs: The proposal would result in half a million fewer people receiving job training and employment services. These harmful cuts would deprive businesses of the skilled workforce they need to thrive, and would cut off workers’ pathways to good jobs.
- Undermine Critical Health Research: House Republicans’ cuts would undermine critical research efforts to find treatments and cures for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s by cutting $3.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health. They would also eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which would end the Long COVID research at the agency and delay other priority health services research.
- Undermine Clean Technology Investments and Pollution Reduction: Rescinding $20 billion in funding provided by the Inflation Reduction Act for programs at EPA would take away funds designed to help communities access grant opportunities to reduce pollution and mobilize private capital into clean technology projects, especially in low-income and disadvantaged communities. These programs will spur investment in clean technology projects and expand economic opportunities in communities, helping to cut harmful pollution and protect people’s health while tackling the climate crisis.
- Slash Support for Teachers: Rescinding $1.7 billion—or 77 percent—in the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants formula program would severely undermine states’ ability to reduce class sizes and improve the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom.