|REP. BECERRA: “THE STAKES COULDN’T BE HIGHER FOR THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES”|
REP. BECERRA: “THE STAKES COULDN’T BE HIGHER FOR THE PEOPLE OF LOS ANGELES”
LOS ANGELES—This week Representative Xavier Becerra (CA-31), Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security, had a chance to tour his district to assess the damage that could result if the proposed Republican continuing budget resolution for 2011 became law.
“The new House Republicans have made their ‘so be it’ approach to governing quite clear and the stakes couldn’t be higher for the people of Los Angeles,” Rep. Becerra said after his visits to a local school, senior center, health clinic and community center in California’s 31st Congressional District.
"Instead of establishing job creation as their top priority, their regressive budget slashes essential services and investments and leads to the loss of 800,000 private and public sector jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute."
“These cuts are real. We are talking about claims for retirement and disability benefits left unprocessed and phones going unanswered at our local Social Security offices, health clinics forced to shut their doors on patients, services for homeless veterans terminated, and job training programs that could disappear completely. With these lost services go good-paying jobs.”
"What's worse, these reckless and regressive cuts to proven, effective programs do nothing to fix our long term budget deficits.”
At the newly opened Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Rep. Becerra met AmeriCorps staff members from the City Year L.A. program who have helped bring the number of students passing math classes up by as much as 25% in area schools. All 200 City Year L.A. staff members currently serving in L.A. schools would likely lose their jobs if these cuts became law.
Rep. Becerra speaks with a City Year L.A. staff member at RFK Community Schools.
At the Social Security field office on Wilshire Boulevard, Rep. Becerra met with administrators, claims processors, and beneficiaries who were there to file a claim or resolve an issue pertaining to their benefits. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), should the regressive budget cuts go into effect, field offices nationwide would be forced to close down for the equivalent of an entire month. Each day, SSA field offices process over 28,000 applications for retirement, survivor and disability benefits.
Rep. Becerra also met with representatives from family health clinics at South Central Family Health Center to find out exactly what the regressive budget cuts would mean for the working families they serve. According to clinic representatives, the proposed cuts would mean hundreds of lost jobs and thousands of patients who would lose access to the most basic health care services. The elimination of Title X funding alone could mean a quarter million fewer doctor visits for women throughout Los Angeles County for services like cancer screenings, prenatal care and basic family planning.
At El Centro del Pueblo in Echo Park—a vital institution and Family Source Center providing a wide range of programs from job training to youth counseling to free tax preparation assistance—Rep. Becerra learned that the Republican cuts could mean a severe reduction in these services currently helping hundreds of families.
"Our investment in the people I met with today builds a stronger America. I'm returning to our nation's capital more determined than ever to stand up to this regressive scheme to shrink essential public services under the guise of deficit reduction. We can craft a fiscally responsible budget without risking American jobs and a recovering economy," Rep. Becerra said.