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Pelosi Statement on the President's Veto of Labor HHS Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after President Bush vetoed the Labor HHS Education Appropriations bill this morning. Below is a fact sheet on the Labor HHS bill:

"The President again vetoed a bipartisan and fiscally responsible bill that addresses the priorities of the American people: education for our children, assistance in paying skyrocketing energy costs, veterans' health care, and other urgent health research on cancer and other serious medical problems.

"At the same time, President Bush and his Congressional allies demand hundreds of billions of dollars for the war in Iraq -- none of it paid for.

"Democrats have offered to work cooperatively with the President to address the priorities of our nation; we believe our differences are not so great that compromise cannot be reached. But the President must work with us - finding common ground on behalf of the American people."



Key Points:

* The 110th Congress is working to get spending bills on America's top priorities to the President's desk expeditiously. This bill rejects the President's cuts in health care, education, job training, and home heating assistance, and makes the following critical investments in our future.

-- Ensuring health care for 1.2 million more Americans through community health centers;

-- Issuing nearly 1,400 more life-saving medical research grants than the President, to potentially find cures for cancer, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, with new investments in NIH;

-- Strengthening quality education for our children by training 51,000 more teachers;

-- Giving extra math and reading help for 117,000 more children than the President funded;

-- Increasing the maximum Pell Grant for college to $4,925 - $875 more than President Bush; and

-- Helping 173,000 more adults, youth, and dislocated workers with job training and employment.

* The legislation is a reflection of American values, re-investing in our future, in a fiscally responsible way, using pay-as-you-go, with no new deficit spending.

* Despite broad bipartisan support, Senate Republicans stripped out a measure providing the largest increase in veterans funding in the 77 year history of the VA. Congressional Republicans, who have consistently shortchanged veterans' programs, are once again putting their loyalty to President Bush ahead of their responsibility to care for our nation's veterans.

* The differences between the White House and the Congress on these and other critical appropriations total $20 billion. At the same time, the President is demanding 10 times that amount to continue to fund the disastrous war in Iraq for another year. The President is not listening to the American people.

Today, the House will consider the conference report on H.R. 3043, FY 2008 Labor-Health-Education Appropriations bill. This bill passed the House and Senate with strong bipartisan majorities. (Labor-Health-Education House 276-140 (D 223-1; R 53-139); Senate 75-19 (D 44-0; R 29-19). House passage today will clear this bill for the President.

Expand Educational Opportunities

-- No Child Left Behind. Provides an increase of $1.6 billion over 2007 and $579 million over the President's request for No Child Left Behind programs.

-- Title I. Gives 117,000 more low-income children extra help with reading and math than the President with an increase of $1.8 billion over 2007 for Title I.

-- Teacher quality. Strengthens teacher quality by providing an increase of $150 million over 2007 and $250 million over the President's request for teacher quality grants;

-- After-School Care. Provides after-school opportunities for an additional 130,000 students through an increase of $100 million over 2007 and the President's request for after-school programs.

-- Children with disabilities. The bill rejects the President's $291 million cut and instead provides an increase of $509 million over 2007 for Individuals with Disabilities Act. This investment reverses a two-year decline in the federal contribution toward the rising costs of special education for 6.9 million children with disabilities. Under the Republicans, the federal contribution for special education fell from 18.6 percent in 2005 to 17.2 percent in 2007, leaving states struggling to meet these costs.

-- College. With the $125 increase in this bill, the maximum Pell Grant for college will have been raised from $4,050 in 2006 to $4,925, an $875 increase under Congressional Democrats. This would benefit more than 5.5 million students.

-- Head Start. The Conference agreement rejects the Bush proposal to cut Head Start services for 13,500 kids and provides $254 million over Bush and $154 million over FY07.

-- Vocational and Career Education. Restores the President's 49 percent cut to vocational education - providing a $25 million increase over fiscal year 2007 - for grants to high schools and community colleges for technical training.

Better Health Care

-- Expanding health care/community health centers. To help the 46.6 million Americans without health insurance, the conference agreement enables community health centers to serve an additional 1.2 million uninsured Americans by investing 11 percent more than 2007 and the President's request.

-- New investments in life-saving medical research. Medical research at NIH offers hope to millions of American families - with groundbreaking research into diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. For FY 2008, the President proposed a cut of $480 million below 2007. Instead, this bill provides an increase of $1.1 billion over 2007 - allowing NIH to support 1,400 more research grants than the President.

-- Expanding health care/state programs. Provides $50 million for states that are ready to expand health care coverage to targeted groups and $50 million for an initiative to assist states in providing high-risk insurance pools to support affordable insurance for almost 200,000 people.

-- Rural health. Rejects the President's $142 million cut and provides $24 million over 2007 for health services to 775,000 rural residents in underserved areas and to support over 1200 small, rural hospitals.

Strengthen the Skills of America's Workers & Worker Safety.

-- Overall funding. Rejects the President's budget proposal to slash vital employment and training programs by $722 million - leaving Americans who want to succeed in the 21st century workforce without vital services they need.

-- Job training and employment assistance. Rejects the President's proposal to cut worker training and employment assistance for 173,000 adults, youth and dislocated workers.

-- Worker safety. To prevent tragedies like the Sago mine incident and strengthen enforcement of worker health and safety laws neglected over the past six years, the agreement increases funding for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (3 percent) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (13 percent).

Other Priorities

-- Investing in community services. Rejects the President's proposal to eliminate the vital $630 million Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and cut the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) by $500 million, both of which local communities use to help low-income families get on their feet, such as funding child care, job training, and nutrition -rejecting the cut to SSBG and providing $665 million for CSBG.

-- Help with home heating bills. The President's budget proposes cutting Low-Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) by $379 million. The bill rejects this cut - instead providing an increase of $250 million over 2007, enabling 600,000 more families to receive LIHEAP assistance than in 2007 and 1.5 million more families than the President.

SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House
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