Conservatives in Congress last week quietly issued another sweeping attack on health, education, and workplace support for middle-class Americans—while preserving protections for the privileged top 1 percent. The conservative assault on the other 99 percent was buried in 150 pages of legislation drafted within the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee.
At a time when unemployment is near record levels and middle-class incomes stagnate, the bill seeks to eliminate funding for job training and gut basic protections for workers that help ensure they are paid what they are owed. It would slash Pell Grant funding and protects the interests of big businesses by letting colleges (particularly for-profit ones) off the hook for their students’ poor outcomes. And with U.S. poverty rates at a 17-year high, the legislation would slash energy assistance for the vulnerable. It also seeks to overturn policies that ensure all Americans have access to health care.
Neither this nor other bills supported by the House majority address the unfair benefits that go to the top 1 percent, such as tax breaks for oil and gas companies and ultra-low tax rates for some millionaires.
In protests around the country, people are demanding to know what elected officials are doing for the bottom 99 percent of Americans. The answer coming out of the House of Representatives is exactly the opposite of what’s needed.
The columns that follow provide detailed information on the disastrous funding and policy choices made by the House majority for the coming fiscal year: