Friday, November 18, 2005
Sue sells her soul...
While the bill has a pleasant-sounding name -- The Deficit Reduction Act -- like a lot of other crud served up by the House leadership lately, it makes deep cuts to programs that many people in the 19th rely on. And it shows that no matter how many times Sue clicks her heels and calls herself a moderate, when push comes to shove, she's more than willing to sell-out her constituents. We don't know yet exactly what she was able to get from the Republican leadership in exchange for her selling her soul, but it must have been something really really good, given the closeness of the vote: 217 to 215 and the fact that Republicans didn't want to lose another key budget vote. Fourteen other Republicans crossed party lines to vote against the cuts, which will cut nearly $15 billion from federal student loan programs, among other things. Among those 14 Republicans crossing party lines were two New Yorkers: John Sweeney and John McHugh.
So what else besides student loans are being cut? $11 billion from Medicaid, a $5 billion cut to child support enforcement programs and deep cuts in food stamps that are expected to cut 275,000 people from the program. But even more troubling is that the legislation does absolutely nothing to reduce the deficit. Why? Because the $50 billion in cuts were made to pay for additional tax cuts for the wealthiest at the expense of poor and middle-class people.
Even though it was the middle of the night, 14 Republicans were clear-headed enough to vote against this legislation. Sue was not. If it wasn't clear before, it should be crystal now: it's time for Sue to go!