2008-02-08 / Community

Clinton Decries Bush Budget Cuts

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has underscored that President Bush's Fiscal Year 2009 budget is a continuation of his failed and shortsighted policy of ignoring the needs of our most vulnerable, slashing crucial funding for health care, law enforcement, community development and other programs aimed at helping children, elderly, working families and veterans in New York and across the country. Senator Clinton vowed once again to fight back against the Bush plan to cut critical health care, education and homeland security programs for millions of New Yorkers.

"It is unconscionable that after years of record deficits which have made the national debt our children's inheritance, the President is trying yet again to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable. From those who will suffer from severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, to the sick 9/11 workers who can't get health care, to families who can't afford to pay their heating bills due to record high energy costs, the President has once again made clear that working families and those straining to make ends meet are not a priority to him. They are a priority to me, and I will continue to work in the Senate to ensure that these short-sighted budget cuts don't leave millions of New Yorkers behind," said Senator Clinton.

Apreliminary look at the President's budget indicates it would have a dire impact on numerous programs that affect New Yorkers, including:

Health Care

An $83 million cut for health care for those suffering health effects of 9/11, to $25 million for 2009. Senator Clinton had urged the President to include $200 million in accordance with his own Administration's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimate.

Eliminating the Advanced Education Nursing Grants Program, which helps prepare approximately 12,000 nurses a year to become nurse faculty and nurse specialists who often serve in low-income and rural areas where physician shortages are acute. New York has multiple grantees located at universities throughout the state.

Freezing funding for the National Institutes of Health, the sixth year in a row that our nation's investment in life-saving research failed to keep up with biomedical inflation. The projected approval rate for research grant applications would fall to 18 percent.

Eliminating funding for the National Children's Study (NCS), a longitudinal study that Senator Clinton championed to collect important health and environmental data to determine the impact of environment upon children's health, including an NCS Vanguard Center in Queens.

Eliminating the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grants program, which provides funding to help states achieve the Healthy People 2010 goals released by the Department of Health and Human Services. In New York, the funding has been used for the Healthy Heart Program, which has increased physical activity among adults, and the Healthy Neighborhood Program, which helps to investigate and address environmental health hazards like lead poisoning in homes. Proposing elimination of the Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program. The goal of the AHECs is to improve the supply, distribution, diversity and quality of the health workforce by increasing access to health care in medically underserved areas. AHECs are academic-community partnerships that train health care providers in sites and programs that are responsive to state and local needs beginning in kindergarten and continuing through graduate programs, with on-going education for professionals. New York has nine area health education centers throughout the state.

Eliminating the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), which is focused on increasing the diversity of the health professions workforce and improving the quality of care in underserved populations. The grants provide support to disadvantaged students, with incentives to practice in underserved communities.

Community Development

Eliminating the Community Services Block Grant, a critical low income housing, nutrition and job program, with a $56 million impact for New York.

An $81 million cut to New York for the Community Development Block Grant, one of the most important economic development tools throughout New York.

Low Income Energy Assistance

A 22 percent cut to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) with a $73 million impact on New York.

Law Enforcement

Eliminating the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, a critical program that enables state and local law enforcement agencies to track and arrest illegal aliens that commit crimes in the United States, with a loss of $54.7 million in funding for New York.

Eliminating the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program that allows states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system, with a loss of $5.4 million for New York.

Eliminating funding for the Community Oriented Policing Program, undermining local law enforcement in New York where the COPS program has helped put more than 11,000 more police officers on the streets.

Homeland Security

Slashing critical homeland security grant programs nationwide by $1 billion. These programs provide needed resources for New York State and high-risk areas like the New York City and the Buffalo-Niagara regions. The President's budget cuts the State Homeland Security Grant Program by $750 million, the Firefighter Assistance Grant Program by $450 million, the Port Security Grant Program by $190 million, the Public Transportation Security Grant Program by $225 million, the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program by $100 million and eliminating the Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program, which has provided funding to seven high risk areas including New York.

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