Jeff Merkley on Welfare & Poverty
Democratic Jr Senator (OR)
Democrats jumped on the comments, with calls to protect health-care coverage and social safety-net programs while Republicans trim spending on those programs in order to make up for budget deficits of $1 trillion from last year's GOP tax cuts. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted that "Social Security and Medicare are on the line" in November's midterms.
Kudlow downplayed the effect of tax cuts on budget deficits and instead pointed to a longer-term spending problem. "People are quick to blame deficits on tax cuts," he said. "Well, I don't buy that."
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D, MD): [In developing national service over many years] we were not in the business of creating another new social program. What we were in the business of was creating a new social invention. What do I mean by that? In our country, we are known for our technological inventions. But also often overlooked, and sometimes undervalued, is our social inventions.
We created national service to let young people find opportunity to be of service and also to make an important contribution. But not all was rosy. In 2003, when I was the ranking member on the appropriations subcommittee funding national service, they created a debacle. One of their most colossal errors was that they enrolled over 20,000 volunteers and could not afford to pay for it. That is how sloppy they were in their accounting. I called them the "Enron of nonprofits."
And they worked on it. But all that is history. We are going to expand AmeriCorps activity into specialized corps. One, an education corps; another, a health futures corps; another, a veterans corps; and another called opportunity corps. These are not outside of AmeriCorps. They will be subsets because we find this is where compelling human need is and at the same time offers great opportunity for volunteers to do it.
Opponent's argument to vote No:No senators spoke against the amendment.
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Jo Rae Perkins
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