The budget deal made last Friday by Congressional leaders to cut $38 billion in spending for the last 6 months of this fiscal will severely impact Latinos and other disadvantaged communities.
The deal proposes cutting more than half (52%) of the budget to education, labor and health programs that are heavily used by Latinos.
Voto Latino has highlighted some of the cuts in areas that will likely raise concern among Latinos:
- 500 million from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) low-income food program (35% of beneficiaries are Latinos).
- $600 million cut from community health centers (39% of Latinos are uninsured).
- $500 million in Pell Grants, preventing year-round funding (1 million Latinos benefit from college Pell Grants)
- $317 million from literacy programs including Striving Readers and Even Start (39% of Latino adults have less than basic literacy levels).
For the full list visit Voto Latino.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Hispanic Task Force, criticized the proposed cuts and their impact on Latinos, he said, “Show me your budget, and I’ll show you your values. Not only are many of these cuts inhumane, but they show a disregard for basic services that Latinos use every day.”
Despite the cuts, Congressional Democrats were able to negotiate saving key programs such as Head Start, Planned Parenthood,Public Broadcasting, Pell Grants and “Race to the Top,” which provides grants to better-performing schools.
A shut down could still be in the near future if the polarized political environment does not change.