Media Contact: Christine Glunz, 202.225.3072
Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) joined 41 other Democratic Congresswomen in sending a letter to President Bush today urging him to keep the promises he has made to women across the country in his budget proposal.
“Crisscrossing the country while making empty promises to women is wrong,” Lofgren said. “The President’s budget proposal cuts programs that mean the most to American women and I believe America deserves better.”
The letter details areas in which President Bush’s promises do not reflect the reality of his budget, such as cuts in funding to small businesses, shortchanging the military and veterans, lack of funding for education and failures in providing healthcare while giving tax breaks to the wealthy. The text of the letter is below:
“Dear President Bush:
“Over the past two months, you have met with small business owners, women and men in uniform, community activists, and parents and teachers. You have touted your accomplishments and promised to do more for American workers and families struggling to achieve financial security in today’s uncertain economy.
“But your budget does not keep the promises you have made.
“As you said during your visit to Ohio last week, women own nearly seven million small businesses – almost half of all small businesses nationwide. But you did not mention that your budget cuts funding for the Small Business Administration by $79 million – the agency that helps women- and minority-owned small businesses grow.
“You went to Kentucky to talk about the benefits of your tax cut for working Americans. But you did not mention that your budget squanders an additional $1 trillion on a tax cut that provides more than 50 percent of Americans with less than $100 this year alone, yet does nothing to create well-paying jobs here at home for the 3.8 million women out of work.
“As you said when speaking at a school in Maryland last month, Republicans and Democrats came together and agreed that we need to invest more money in education, so that children get the help they need with reading and math. But you did not mention that your budget fails to provide $9.4 billion in promised funding for education reforms – meaning that 2.4 million children will not get the help with reading and math that they were promised.
“You thanked military personnel in Louisiana for their service to our country, and promised that our nation would always be grateful for their service. Our country has more than 1.5 million women veterans, and thousands of wives and mothers waiting for loved ones to come home. But you did not mention that your budget cuts funding for veterans health care by $13 billion over five years and raises health care costs for veterans seeing VA physicians.
“Just yesterday, you talked about the importance of affordable health care at an event in Washington D.C., but you did not mention that your budget includes billions for a tax credit for individual coverage that helps only five percent of the uninsured, and Health Savings Accounts that help only the healthy and wealthy. You provide almost no help for the 20 million women without health insurance and millions more who can barely afford to pay their premiums.
“Mr. President, you can use paid actors in your campaign ads, but the decisions you make in your budget affect real Americans – including the people you met with in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisiana, and Washington D.C. As the budget goes to the floor of the House next week for debate, we hope that you will set an example for the House Republican leadership and put election-year politics aside. The only way to make sure that all Americans who work hard have the opportunity to get ahead is by having an honest debate on the budget. The first step towards that debate is for you to tell the American people the truth about the impact of your budget on working families.”