House Budget Plan Would Harm Oregon’s Vital Services

News Release
April 4, 2006 Download PDF

(Silverton) – The five-year budget plan approved by the U.S. House Budget Committee last week “is badly out of step with the priorities of Oregonians,” according to the Oregon Center for Public Policy, a non-profit think tank. The House is planning to vote on the measure tomorrow or Thursday.

The House budget plan would provide domestic discretionary programs with $10.3 billion less funding in 2007 than is needed simply to keep pace with inflation. Discretionary programs are the part of the budget that includes Head Start, K-12 education, student loans for higher education, veteran’s medical care, law enforcement, transportation, nutrition supports, affordable housing, environmental protection, and medical research.

“This reduction means that services in Oregon would need to be reduced, or fewer people would be served by these programs,” stated Janet Bauer, the federal budget coordinator at the Oregon Center for Public Policy. “In future years, the House budget would cut these vital discretionary programs by even larger amounts than the President’s budget proposes,” she added.

Download a copy of this newnews release:

House Budget Plan Would Harm Oregon’s Vital Services (PDF).

Related materials:

Download OCPP's one-page Summary of the House Budget Committee's Budget Plan (PDF).

“The House Budget Committee plan is badly out of step with the priorities of Oregonians,” said Charles Sheketoff, OCPP executive director. “These cuts will hit Oregon hard, making it even more difficult to educate our children, provide adequate public safety services, and care for our veterans, seniors and other vulnerable citizens,” he added.

The House budget plan undermines a cornerstone of Oregon’s welfare-to-work effort. Currently, families leaving welfare for work can maintain Oregon Health Plan Medicaid benefits for up to one year. In a departure from the President’s budget, the House budget eliminates this welfare-to-work health care program.

Environmental programs that protect the health of Oregonians would also see significant cuts under the House plan. According to the public policy research institute, federal funds that ensure safe drinking water in Oregon would be cut by 14 percent in 2007. Air quality programs would be cut by 16 percent. “With thirteen Oregon communities at risk of failing to meet federal air quality standards, Oregon can ill afford the House Budget Committee’s proposal,” said Bauer.

“Overall, the House budget plan would be more harmful to Oregon than the President’s budget and the budget plan recently approved by the Senate,” said Bauer. “Over the next five years, the House budget calls for even larger funding cuts in domestic discretionary programs than the other two plans.”

The House budget plan would:

“Given the widespread harm that the House budget plan would cause in Oregon, our Congressional delegation should reject this misguided proposal when they vote this week,” stated Bauer. “We need our entire delegation to stick together and protect Oregon and the nation from the House Budget Committee plan,” she concluded.