Larsen Votes to Protect Food Aid, Care for Seniors in Budget Fight

May 10, 2012

Votes against Republican Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today voted to preserve food aid for low-income families and protect senior services in a budget debate today. Larsen voted against a Republican bill that seeks to eliminate automatic cuts to defense spending and replace them with greater cuts to domestic spending. The bill, which passed the House on a 218 to 199 vote, would undo the bipartisan Budget Control Agreement signed into law last August.

“House Republicans could not be more clear about where they stand. They want to shelter the richest Americans and let out-of-control spending continue at the Pentagon, all while cutting vital services for seniors, students and middle class Americans,” Larsen said.

“The bill Republicans approved today would give the Defense Department a free pass while cutting Meals on Wheels for 1.7 million seniors, cancer screenings for hundreds of thousands of women, and reducing or eliminating food stamps for nearly 50 million of the most vulnerable Americans.

“The ideological and stubborn support for unfettered growth in defense spending is as irresponsible as it is unnecessary. The Government Accountability Office recently reported that major defense programs had more than $44 billion in cost overruns last year. The Republicans now want to throw $8 billion more on top of that. We need to reshape the force for 21st century challenges, not just keep throwing good money after bad.

“Virtually every member of Congress I know agrees that we should replace automatic spending cuts with a structured deficit reduction package. I have long advocated for a bold and balanced approach to cutting the deficit. That will include a mix of spending cuts in defense and domestic spending as well as increasing revenue through fairer tax rates for the highest earners and elimination of tax subsidies to oil and gas companies and big agribusiness. The Democratic budget that I voted for would preserve vital job-creating investments in our transportation infrastructure and maintain support for students to go to college and seniors and veterans to get quality health care.”