FAIRFIELD — Rep. John Garamendi voted Thursday against what he termed Paul Ryan’s tea party-inspired budget because he said it would harm the nation’s recovery, destroy jobs and punish seniors and lower-income Americans to reward millionaires, billionaires and oil companies with more tax breaks.
Garmendi, D-Walnut Grove, said in a press release that the Ryan budget would cut taxes for millionaires by more than $200,000 a year and protect tax loopholes for oil companies and others who ship American jobs overseas.
“Construction on levees in flood-prone Sacramento Valley communities would be delayed,” he said. “College students would shoulder even more debt. Agricultural researchers at the University of California, Davis would see their groundbreaking work halted. Seniors in Rio Vista would see their health costs skyrocket. Struggling families in my district would see food, housing and health care taken away from them.”
The bill by the former Republican vice presidential nominee passed the House of Representatives by a 219-205 vote along party lines.
Garamendi, who represents the 3rd Congressional District that includes Solano County, said that as the American economy recovers, “this budget would kick us back down.”
“It would eliminate the jobs of 3 million Americans by destroying engines of growth: education, research and infrastructure,” he said.
Collen Britton, president of the Vaca Valley Tea Party, said Thursday that, “This budget is exactly what John Garamendi’s District and the rest of the country needs―a good dose of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and less interference from the Federal Government.”
“It will repair the safety net for those living in poverty,” Britton said. ” It will actually strengthen Medicare in the long run. It will help create jobs and increase wages. It will reduce deficits by $4.6 trillion over the next ten years, targeting wasteful Washington spending.”
By targeting debt, she added, this budget will help ensure the next generation inherits a stronger, more prosperous America.
“John Garamendi obviously wants more of the same old unlimited “Tax and spend,” the local Tea Party president said.
Garamendi said Ryan’s measure takes an ax to desperately needed services in Medicare and Medicaid and raises the age of Medicare eligibility to 67, exposing many Americans vulnerable to age-related illness to a prolonged gap in insurance coverage.
He said the budget also ends the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act and block grants to Medicaid, slashing about $732 billion over 10 years from Medicaid/Medi-Cal.
Moreover, Garamendi said, the budget fails to act on emergency unemployment insurance despite more than 2 million Americans, including 180,000 veterans, desperately needing the funding to see their families through a difficult job market.
A total of $260 billion would be cut from college aid, including $145 billion from Pell grants, and Ryan’s budget adds a new requirement that interest begin accruing on college loans while low-income students are in college, Garamendi said. In California alone, 51,350 fewer students would receive Pell Grants, according to Garamendi.
He said this would cause tremendous harm to students in the 3rd District and that about 63 percent of UC Davis undergraduates are awarded family income-based federal grants and 41 percent are designated low-income and awarded Pell Grants.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]