Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters while flanked by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Barrasso(R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at the U.S. Capitol on February 4, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Caption by WBUR. Photo by Mark Wilson for AFP/Getty Images.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Programs such as Meals on Wheels and LIHEAP may suffer more draconian cuts
On Tuesday, the Republican Party won both chambers of Congress — they have a 243 to 179 advantage over Democrats in the House and a 52 to 43 advantage over Democrats in the Senate as of today.
The GOP’s two-party dominance, however, is tempered by the facts that a Democrat controls the Executive Branch; that they don’t have the 60-vote super majority in the Senate required to pass most of their desired legislation; and that they have nowhere near the 67 votes necessary to override President Obama’s vetoes.
That being said, though, Republicans still carry substantial weight in the area where it matters most — federal spending. That’s precisely the point where Proviso area senior citizens and low-income residents, for instance, may begin to worry.
Howard Gleckman of Forbes laid out the Republican potential to cut federal funds for programs affecting those demographics, namely seniors, in an article on Forbes‘ website yesterday.
“A top priority for most GOP lawmakers, including several newly-elected Republican senators, is to shrink the size of government,” Gleckman writes. “Because many will want to boost funding for the military, they will especially target domestic spending.”
“In that environment, senior services programs will do no better than have their budgets frozen for the next two years. And they could very well see significant cuts.”
Gleckman points out that such programs as “Meals on Wheels, supportive services, family caregiver support, and feeding programs for people in congregant care may be particular targets. Even President Obama’s 2015 budget would freeze these programs and others operated by the Administration for Community Living. Obama proposed cutting the overall ACL budget for this year. Look for a Republican Congress to cut even more deeply.”
President Obama already slashed funding for low-income programs such as the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP — which he cut by 20 percent). Republicans will likely seek to cut it further, Gleckman notes.
In Maywood, Meals on Wheels is administered by the Community Nutrition Network (CNN), which used to operate out of the Maywood Public Library until it moved recently. LIHEAP is administered by the Proviso Leyden Council for Community Action (PLCCA) in Maywood. Attempts to contact representatives from both organizations about the possible cuts were unsuccessful.
To read more of Gleckman’s article, click here. VFP
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