News Releases

Washington Families Threatened by White House Plan to Cut Critical Services after November Election

May 27 2004

Veterans, Security, Health Care All Face Massive Cuts according to Internal White House Memo

(Washington, D.C.) - The Bush White House is planning to dramatically cut funding for Washington state priorities including veterans, students, and security, according to an internal White House budget memo disclosed in media reports today.

The memo, from the White House Office of Management and Budget, directs cabinet agencies to develop a budget for Fiscal Year 2006 that makes significant cuts in programs that are critical to Washington state families. Further, details of the President's budget cuts would not be revealed until after the November 2004 presidential election.

"Today we got more disturbing news about the true costs of the President's failed policies," said U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash). "After years of reckless budget priorities, the White House now plans to dramatically cut critical services after the November election."

According to news reports, starting in Fiscal Year 2006 the Bush Administration would cut homeland security by $1 billion, education by $1.5 billion, veterans services by $910 million, the National Institutes of Health by $600 million, and Head Start by $177 million, among other cuts. These proposed cuts will hurt the American people's ability to create opportunity and address pressing needs.

"We’re not just talking about programs here. We're talking about people's lives," Murray said. "These cuts threaten our ability to meet our obligations to our veterans, our children, our seniors and our security."

Murray, who has served on the Senate Budget Committee for 11 years, has repeatedly raised warning flags about how the Bush Administration’s budget priorities hurt Washington families.

Murray has also used her seat on the Budget Committee to correct the Bush Administration's faulty budget plans. For example, in March, when the Senate debated the Republican budget resolution, Murray offered amendments to fully-fund the No Child Left Behind Act and to stop Republicans from cutting port security grants by 63 percent. Unfortunately, both of Murray's amendments were defeated on partisan votes.

Despite the White House's influence in Congress, Murray has repeatedly succeeded in protecting Washington families from Bush budget cuts, including: