Larsen Announces Opposition to FY18 Budget
Washington, DC, October 5, 2017
Congressman: H.Con.Res. 71 ‘misses the mark’ on job training, infrastructure & higher education
Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today announced his opposition to H.Con.Res. 71, the FY 2018 House Republican budget resolution.
“Without a serious investment in job training, infrastructure, or higher education, this budget fundamentally misses the mark as a blueprint for America’s priorities,” said Larsen. “Coupled with outrageous tax breaks for billionaires and devastating cuts to Medicaid and other safety net programs, this budget paints a grim picture for America’s economic future.”
The budget resolution, which passed the House today on a 219-206 vote, includes the following measures.
Jobs & Job Training
The FY 2018 House Republican budget resolution undermines the significant progress made under the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to connect Americans to high-quality job training programs. H.Con.Res. 71 further consolidates key workforce development programs, scales back the federal government’s role in ensuring access to career and technical education, and instructs the House Education & Workforce Committee to find $20 billion in savings from programs within their jurisdiction. To comply with this requirement, Congress will be forced to slash funding for programs that prepare job seekers for high-skilled, well-paying careers.
H.Con.Res. 71 cuts Pell Grants by $76 billion over the next decade. This would reduce the maximum Pell Grant from $5,920 to $4,860, even though Pell Grants already cover the smallest fraction of college costs in more than four decades. Additionally, the budget cuts student loan programs by up to $120 billion over the next 10 years.
The report accompanying the budget resolution provides examples for how these cuts could be achieved, including: 1) charging low- and moderate-income students interest on their loans while they are still in school; 2) changing the terms of income-based repayment plans in ways that could increase some borrowers’ costs, and; 2) eliminating or scaling back loan forgiveness programs for borrowers who take public sector or non-profit jobs.
Despite a 2017 report from the American Society of Civil Engineers, which gave American infrastructure a “D+” rating, the GOP budget cuts $254 billion in transportation funding the next decade – including the popular Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant program.