DeLauro Receives Biden Administration Responses Highlighting Impacts of Proposed House Republican Cuts
House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) received information from agency heads in response to letters sent on January 19 about how House Republican Leadership’s reported proposal to cut fiscal year 2024 discretionary spending back to the fiscal year 2022 enacted level—resulting in a cut of at least 22 percent for essential programs—would impact the American people:
“I have received responses to most of my letters to cabinet secretaries and senior leaders outlining the dangers posed to the American people if we cut federal spending back to the 2022 level, and the numbers could not be clearer. Those that seek to cut essential programs by at least 22 percent—and those that are pushing even more drastic cuts of 30 percent or more—would cause irreparable damage to our communities by gutting the programs every single American relies on. Those proposals are unrealistic, unsustainable, and unconscionable,” Ranking Member DeLauro said.
“The draconian cuts would take away the opportunity for 80,000 people to attend college and impact all 6.6 million students who rely on Pell Grants. If implemented, 200,000 children will lose access to Head Start, and 100,000 children will lose access to child care, undermining early education and parents’ ability to go to work,” DeLauro continued. “As if that was not enough to deter these harmful cuts, 1.2 million women, infants, and children would lose vital nutrition assistance they receive through WIC.”
“The programs that we fund every year keep our communities safe and healthy, lower prices, and create jobs, and we have increased investments in them year after year with the support of Democrats and Republicans in both the House and the Senate. Continued Republican calls for cuts of this magnitude—both secret proposals from Republican leadership and public demands from extremists in the party—would be absolutely detrimental to all Americans, many of whom have not seen a pay raise in years and are struggling to pay their bills. The math is not there. These drastic cuts would put people at risk. I look forward to discussing these letters with agency leaders in the coming weeks during our committee hearings to help the American people and Congress understand the real cost to human lives these extreme cuts would have,” DeLauro concluded.
Some of the other major impacts to programs highlighted in the letters make clear that:
- After recent near-misses, our air travel would come to a halt with 125 Air Traffic Control Towers shutting down, impacting one-third of all Airports.
- Following the catastrophic derailments in eastern Ohio and West Virginia, rail safety jobs would be dramatically reduced, with 11,000 fewer safety inspection days, and 30,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually.
- Amid a mental health and overdose crisis, nearly 1 million people facing a suicidal or mental health crisis would be unable to access support services through the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, and tens of thousands of individuals could be denied admission to opioid use disorder treatment, denying them a potentially life-saving path to recovery.
- Despite a stubbornly persistent gap in housing assistance, 640,000 families would lose access to rental assistance and more than 430,000 low-income families would be evicted from Section 8 housing, causing an unprecedented loss of affordable housing for older adults, persons with disabilities, families with children, and veterans.
- An estimated 2 million vulnerable individuals and families, including rural and underserved populations, would lose access to health care services through Community Health Centers.
- With the looming rise of food insecurity, nutrition services, such as Meals on Wheels, would be cut for more than 1 million seniors.
- The Social Security Administration would be forced to close field offices and reduced access to in-person services, and people applying for disability benefits would wait an additional 2 months for the processing of claims.
- Our communities would be less safe with the cut of federal support to 60 local law enforcement agencies, 300 to 400 fewer local law enforcement positions, approximately 11,000 less FBI personnel, and a hiring freeze at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that will mean 190 agents, 130 Industry Operations Investigators, and 180 technical and support staff would be lost to attrition and ATF’s entire workforce of over 5,000 personnel would have to take 36 furlough days.
- In a century marked by extreme weather events and rising natural disasters, efforts to address the climate crisis would be endangered, including by slowing the development of more fuel-efficient vehicles needed to lower greenhouse gas emissions and shifting costs onto American families at the gas pump.
- At a time of historical drought caused by climate change, efforts to conserve and deliver water to the communities most affected would be delayed, and families would experience increases in cost.
- There would be a $100 billion cut below the strategy-driven level necessary to provide for our Nation's defense—undermining military readiness, weakening our deterrence against China, and impeding our ability to meet pressing global challenges.