Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today listed ten reasons why the Republican joint budget resolution, which cleared the Senate earlier this week, would shortchange Oregonians and hurt the state’s economy in a variety of ways.
“This partisan budget plan fundamentally ignores the economics of this country in 2015,” Wyden said. “Oregonians and Americans across the country are walking on an economic tightrope, trying to climb the ladder of opportunity and give their kids a brighter future. The climb isn’t always easy, and the budget before Congress fails to help make it easier in a number of alarming ways.”
- Costs Oregon jobs. By pulling billions of dollars out of Oregon’s economy, the Republican budget could cost Oregon 28,600 jobs by 2017 due to cuts in infrastructure, education, and scientific research.
- Bad for rural communities. The Republican budget risks ending the safety net for rural Oregon law-enforcement, schools and roads – even though Sen. Wyden’s Secure Rural Schools program to support rural communities has bipartisan support, the Republican budget links that critical funding to an unsustainable increase in federal logging.
- Hurts middle-class taxpayers. The Republican budget once again leaves middle-class taxpayers in the lurch. In fact, Sen. Wyden’s amendment to preserve and expand tax credits that support work, family, and obtaining a higher education – and passed the Senate by a 73-27 margin – was dropped from the final budget agreement by Republicans. That would mean higher taxes for millions of middle-class families.
- Revokes health insurance protections for women. Under the Republican budget, American health insurance would revert to a time when pregnancy was a pre-existing condition, women faced higher premiums simply because of their gender, and birth control often wasn’t included in health insurance.
- Cuts Medicaid to the bone. The Republican budget includes painful, arbitrary cuts to health programs that protect the most vulnerable in Oregon, including seniors who rely on long-term nursing care.
- Fails to Protect Social Security. The Republican budget does not include Sen. Wyden’s amendment to protect Social Security by stopping legislation that would cut benefits, raise the retirement age, or privatize Social Security that won majority support in the Senate.
- Pulls back support for local schools. Assistance for schools in need would be cut off or limited by $11.3 million in Oregon over the next 10 years, which means fewer school and students served, and job losses for educators.
- Stops investment in critical research. Oregon loses roughly $5.7 million in funding from the National Science Foundation under the Republican budget, resulting in fewer awards to support research that boosts the economy.
- Limits workforce training and job resources. The Republican budget puts nearly 27,500 workers in Oregon at risk of losing access job training or search services that are needed to help them stay competitive in tough global markets.
- Places higher education further out of reach. By cutting Pell Grants by $90 billion nationwide over the next decade, the Republican budget will make earning a college degree harder for many of the 114,000 students pursuing a higher education in Oregon by making them borrow more or forcing them to forgo going to school at all.