CWAG CONGRESSIONAL NEWS UPDATE
Monday October 23, 2017
The U.S. Senate Passed a Federal Budget that Slashes Medicare and Medicaid and then
Offers More Tax Breaks to the Wealthy
From A.J. Nino Amato
The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted 51-49 on Thursday to pass a budget that requires cuts of $473 billion from
Medicare and about $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next 10 years.
This irresponsible vote is estimated to add $1.5 trillion to the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Unfortunately,
Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson voted in favor of slashing Medicare and Medicaid budget cuts and the
additional tax breaks for the wealthy, which will financially benefit the Trump family. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted against
these cuts and tax breaks.
The GOP-Controlled Senate also adopted a last minute amendment eliminating the need for a conference committee,
which actually speeds up the budget process, so that their budget cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, in addition to giving a
Trillion Dollar Tax break for the wealthy, can proceed with very little public input or further Congressional debate.
"Thursday's Senate health care cuts are an outright disgrace to our elderly American citizens and it adds insult to injury to
then give more tax breaks to their wealthy donors," said A.J. Nino Amato, President/CEO for the Coalition of Wisconsin
Aging Groups. "It's like Robin-Hood-In-Reverse, robbing the poor and the elderly on fixed incomes and giving the money to
the wealthy," Amato said.
A number of amendments were offered by Democrats and Independent Vermont U.S. Senator, Bernie Sanders, along with
Debbie Stabenow (MI) and Bob Casey (PA), who offered an amendment to prevent the $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, paid
for by reducing the Republican tax breaks for the wealthy. The amendment failed 47-51.
In addition, Senator Sanders and Ron Wyden (D-OR) offered a third amendment to ensure that there are not tax cuts for the
top 1% of wealthy Americans. The amendment failed allowed partisan-lines, with 52 Republican Senators voting against
the Sanders-Wyden Amendment.
CWAG's Board Chair, Arlene Meyers of Irma was not only disappointed at the Senate vote, but blamed Donald Trump for
threatening Republican Senators with putting a Trump-endorsed Republican candidate to run against them in the 2018
GOP Primary if they voted against these cuts and tax-breaks. "Donald Trump is disrespectful to America's elderly and he
and his Congressional followers are steering America and our elderly towards an iceberg, while the Trump White House
is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."