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What a government shutdown over Planned Parenthood would cost women and families

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Some lawmakers want to force the government to shut down on October 1
st in an effort to defund Planned Parenthood. If they succeed, not only would this be a reprehensible attack on women’s health—but it would also come at a substantial cost to the country. The full cost of the last government shutdown in 2013 to the U.S. economy is estimated at about $1.5 billion a day. 

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The House's Spending Plan Will Harm Millions

On June 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill, announcing that the proposed “[l]egislation will rein in damaging regulatory overreach, roll back harmful ObamaCare provisions, cut wasteful spending, and target investments to proven national programs.”

Well, not really.

The bill would cut spending for the Departments of Labor, Education, Health and Human Services by about $15 billion (9%), compared to the President’s proposed budget.

According to the Office of Management and Budget, cuts to these so-called “wasteful” programs and “harmful” provisions would: Read more »

Americans Want to Raise the Minimum Wage — And So Does Senator Murray

The passage of the program-slashing, millionaire-protecting budget measures in the House and Senate this week might have you convinced that no one in Congress is looking out for women and their families. But all is not lost! A number of our leaders in Washington do in fact care about families who are struggling to make ends meet. Here’s one example: reports have surfaced this week that Senator Murray (D-WA) is looking to introduce a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. She’d also “like to see the separate tipped [minimum cash] wage abolished altogether,” and her proposal would include an indexing measure to ensure that the value of the minimum wage does not erode in the future.

This proposal stands in stark contrast to the Republican budget plans—and it is exactly the kind of measure we need to ensure that women and families across the country begin to experience a real economic recovery. Today, women are two-thirds of the workers making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour—a wage that leaves a full-time working mom with two children thousands of dollars below the poverty line. Women are also two-thirds of tipped workers, for whom the federal minimum cash wage has been stuck at just $2.13 per hour for nearly 25 years. Nationwide, the poverty rate for tipped workers is about twice as high as the rate for the workforce as a whole. Read more »

House and Senate Pass Budgets Slashing Programs for Struggling Families, Advance Tax Cuts for Multimillionaires

Bad news on the federal budget front continues this week: on Wednesday, a Republican majority in the House passed a budget plan that slashes trillions of dollars from programs for low-income families but shields tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. And in the wee hours this morning, the Senate wrapped up its budget debate and passed a similarly disastrous proposal along party lines. Though the House and Senate budget resolutions are blueprints—legislation making the changes they call for would still have to be enacted—they are an important statement of congressional priorities, and in the words of Senator Sanders (D-VT), the Republican budgets “say those people who are struggling, those people who are trying to feed their families, those people who are trying to send their kids to college, those are not the people that we should be helping. Rather, we’ve got to worry about the top 1 percent.” Read more »

Teeing Up a Massive Tax Break for Multimillionaires

It’s shameful and shameless.

Today, the House is expected to vote on a disastrous budget that would cut $5.5 trillion from the federal budget over 10 years, targeting programs that help millions of women put food on the table, afford child care and higher education, and access health care for themselves and their families. More than two-thirds of the cuts in the House budget are to programs for low- and moderate-income people, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Read more »

"The People's Budget" Lives Up to Its Name

I’ve been writing quite a bit about the budgets from the House and Senate Budget Committees this week, and it’s all rather discouraging—especially since proposals that would have devastating consequences for low-income women and families are couched in misleading language about “expand[ing] opportunity” and “building an economy that works for all Americans.” So today I’m happy to write about the budget plan introduced by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called “The People’s Budget.” Its sponsors say the plan “drives a full economic recovery by creating high-quality jobs and reducing family expenses,” and “creates fair tax rates for millionaires and provides needed relief to low- and middle-income families.” And guess what? It actually does! Read more »

House and Senate Budgets Threaten Women’s Health

Earlier this week, the House released a proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) which would leave millions of women and their families without the financial security of high quality health insurance, unable to access the health care services they need, and facing dramatic increases in their healthcare costs. To learn more about the details of House budget proposal, our analysis is available here

Late yesterday, the Senate released their counterpart [PDF] to the House budget. The strategy is the same: repeal the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicare and Medicaid. The results would be the same, too: millions of women left without access to affordable health coverage and the care they need.

Specifically, the Senate budget proposes: Read more »

Another Day, Another Disastrous Budget: Senator Enzi’s Proposal Also Fails Women and Their Families

Budget season is now in full swing on Capitol Hill. Hot on the heels of Rep. Price’s House budget resolution, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-WY) released his own budget plan yesterday afternoon. Sen. Enzi’s proposal differs from Rep. Price’s plan in a few respects, such as defense spending, and it is even sketchier on the details—but it is clear that both budgets share an appalling disregard for the needs of low-income Americans—and a commitment to protecting tax breaks for wealthy Americans and corporations. Like the Price budget, the Enzi budget would: Read more »

Price House Budget Resolution Is Disastrous News for Women and Families

House Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-GA) just released a budget resolution outlining his priorities for FY 2016 and beyond. While the introduction to his plan observes that “[t]he economy is not working for many Americans,” and “[a] lot of people are struggling to keep up or are being left behind altogether,” he has a funny way of showing his concern for their plight; like the budget plans put forward in recent years by Price’s predecessor, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the Price plan balances the budget on the backs of vulnerable women and their families. The Price budget would: Read more »

3 Things You Could Get For $79 Billion Other Than Business Tax Breaks

Before heading out for the President’s Day recess, the House of Representatives passed a package of business tax breaks that would cost $79 billion over the next 10 years. The bill doesn’t close any tax loopholes, so all of its cost would be added to the deficit.

At the National Women’s Law Center, we’ve been reviewing President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget—and it proposes much better ways to invest $79 billion: Read more »