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Congresswoman Blasts President Bush's Budget

By Paula Katinas

February 23, 2008

The last budget of the presidency of George W. Bush contains devastating cuts to health care, housing, and economic development, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez charged. 
Bush’s proposed budget “fails to recognize current economic realities,” said Velázquez, whose congressional district includes Sunset Park.
The president’s proposed budget, which has been submitted to Congress, includes plans to reduce funding for housing and urban development by $1.9 billion.
“This can only mean that programs with a proven rate of success will be unable to continue providing critical resources to New Yorkers,” Velázquez said.
“The cost of living keeps rising and President Bush wants to make things worse,” Velázquez said.
The recently submitted budget is the last one of Bush’s eight-year presidency.
The president’s budget includes cuts in Medicare and Medicaid that would add up to $195.6 billion over the next five years.  The proposed budget will hurt small business owners, according to Velázquez, chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee.
Bush is proposing slashing funding for programs that make capital available for small businesses, she said.
“Small Businesses fuel the economy in a downturn, yet key initiatives to benefit entrepreneurs are terminated or cut in the president’s budget.  This is the absolute wrong move at a time when the economy isn’t creating new jobs,” Velázquez said.
Velázquez also charged that the budget will shortchange New Yorkers. 
Funds for public housing programs in New York would be cut by $74.9 million under the proposed budget.
It would mean that repairs to buildings would be jeopardized, Velázquez said.
The cuts would come at a bad time, according to Velázquez, who said the New York City Housing Authority recently announced a $198 million deficit.
“This president has mismanaged the nation’s finances and he’s making New Yorkers pay the price,” Velázquez said.
Bush is proposing a 27 percent cut in funding for a housing assistance program for the elderly, and a 32 percent reduction in a program that helps the disabled find housing.
“We need to invest in our communities, not shortchange them with cuts to vital programs,” Velázquez said.