Summer Lee Responds to Latest and Cruelest Proposal in Republicans’ Shutdown Hostage Crisis, Detailing Impact on Children, Teachers in Western PA.

Sep 27, 2023
Press

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 26, 2023

Contact: Emilia.Rowland@mail.house.gov

Summer Lee Responds to Latest and Cruelest Proposal in Republicans’ Shutdown Hostage Crisis, Detailing Impact on Children, Teachers in Western PA.

(WASHINGTON, DC) — Today, Congresswoman Summer Lee (PA-12) released the following statement after House Republicans released their latest and cruelest proposal cutting lifeline programs for the FY2024 budget, signaling their intent to force a government shutdown in just four days. 

“MAGA Republicans’ are so desperate to starve babies, crush our children’s futures, throw our veterans out on the streets, and force our neighbors to freeze to death that they’re holding our entire country at gunpoint,” said Congresswoman Lee. “McCarthy is so desperate to keep his speakership that he’s ready to help them pull the trigger. This will come down to whether the few so-called moderates remaining have the courage to join Democrats in time to take away their gun and protect our children, our seniors, and our economy.”

Lee continued, “Republicans’ plot to shutdown the government to please their cable-news culture-warriors and bankroll their billionaire friends will tear formula and food assistance from over 175,000 pennsylvania babies and moms, force our commonwealth’s public schools to lay off 10,000 teachers, force hundreds of thousands of PA residents to go without heat this winter, and cost over 100,000 workers and job-seekers their paychecks.”

Lee, the first Black woman to represent Pennsylvania in Congress, depended on many of the lifeline programs that Republicans will tear from Americans through their shutdown and their proposed cuts. She led the Congressional Progressive Caucus in a press conference, speaking powerfully on the devastating real-life impacts of a shutdown and calling out McCarthy’s plot to distract from Republicans shutdown by launching a baseless impeachment inquiry starting this Thursday on the Oversight Committee on which Lee sits.

Navigator research recently interviewed Pittsburgh-area Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Click here to read their report. 

How Republican’s Latest Proposal Would Harm PA families:

  • House Republicans funding bill will kick 537 teachers out of classrooms in PA-12 and 9,400 teachers out of classrooms across Pennsylvania.
  • 177,335 people in Pennsylvania could see cuts in WIC, or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. The program serves about half of babies born in the nation, according to the White House; the Pennsylvania statistics include 97,269 children and 40,735 infants.
  • With colder weather approaching, House Republicans’ extreme CR would cut the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by over 60% taking away $137M used by 342,419 families across PA
  • Reduce services for young children. The bill will eliminate access to early childhood education for 1,900 children in Pennsylvania through cuts to Head Start.
  • Eliminate services for English learners. The House Republican bill eliminates federal support for vital academic services for 76,800 English learners in Pennsylvania through the elimination of English Language Acquisition
  • Eliminate Federal Work Study. The bill eliminates Federal Work Study for the 47,700 students who need it in Pennsylvania to help finance a postsecondary education, limiting their potential earnings and future success in the job market.
  • Eliminate need-based financial aid. The House Republican’s bill takes away need-based financial aid for 60,700 students in Pennsylvania through the elimination of Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG).
  • Eliminate youth employment opportunities. The bill eliminates WIOA Youth Job Training, which would deny job training and employment services for 5,800 youth in Pennsylvania who face barriers to finding a good paying job.
  • Eliminate adult employment opportunities. The bill eliminates WIOA Adult Job Training, which would deny job training and employment services for 13,300 adults in Pennsylvania who face barriers to finding a good paying job. 

How Republican’s shutdown would harm PA families: 

  • In Pennsylvania, about 72,192 federal civilian employees and 1,009 active duty military personnel won’t get their paychecks on time. 
  • During an Extreme Republican Shutdown, women and children who count on WIC would soon start being turned away at grocery store counters, with a federal contingency fund drying up after just a few days and many states left with limited WIC funds to operate the program. In Pennsylvania alone 177,335 recipients receive WIC. 39,331 women, 97,269 children & 40,735 infants are at risk of losing critical nutrition assistance
  • Health centers in Allegheny County and throughout the United States face a funding cliff at the end of this month due to the looming threat of a federal government shutdown.

How Republican’s latest proposal would harm American families (Source):

  • Nationally, 1M children would lose food assistance
  • 20K vets & 300K families would lose housing aid
  • 60K seniors would lose Meals on Wheels
  • 80% cut to low-income schools
  • 70% cut to home heating assistance heading into winter
  • 27% cut to Social Security and Medicare
  • 33% cut to housing assistance to the poor

How Republican’s latest proposal would harm American families (Source):

  • 110,000 children would lose access to Head Start slots
  • 65,000 children would lose access to childcare
  • 60,000 seniors would be robbed of nutrition services like Meals on Wheels
  • 2.1 million women, infants, and children would be waitlisted for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Up to 40,000 fewer teachers, aides, or other key staff across the country, affecting 26 million students in schools that teach low-income students and 7.5 million students with disabilities
  • Nearly 70 fewer Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, who are often some of the first federal law enforcement on the scene of a mass shooting to help local law enforcement identify at-large shooters—and 13 furlough days for ATF’s entire workforce
  • 4,000 fewer rail safety inspection days next year alone, with nearly 11,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States more than 3 times
  • 145 fewer members of local law enforcement due to cuts at the Department of Justice
  • Nearly 300,000 households—including 20,000 veterans and 90,000 seniors—would lose housing choice vouchers, putting them at greater risk of homelessness
  • A roughly $500 reduction to the maximum Pell Grant for 6.6 million students
  • 4,000 fewer FBI personnel, including agents who investigate crimes
  • 250,000 American workers would be denied job training and employment services—resulting in 35,000 fewer workers gaining the opportunity of a Registered Apprenticeship
  • 50,000 workers would lose an average of $1,000 in back wages they are owed
  • People applying for disability benefits would have to wait 2 months longer

Last week, Congresswoman Summer Lee gave a powerful speech on the real-life impacts of a GOP shutdown, hammering down on McCarthy’s failure to stick to his own deal.

Congresswoman Summer Lee’s Recent Remarks on the Shutdown:

Link to the Video

Good afternoon. I came to Congress to represent single moms and families and left-behind communities like my own in Braddock PA – and children whose ability to grow into the doctors, or teachers, or business owners or Congresswomen we need depends on our government not only functioning for them, but fighting for them. They deserve better from their government, not worse. 

But instead, Progressives are here today – for the second time since those of us who are freshman came into office just months ago – because Republicans are deliberately forcing a government shutdown because they know that we the people won’t stand for their cruel pro-hunger, pro-eviction, anti-parent, anti-senior, anti-worker plot to please their cable-news culture-warriors and pay for handouts to their billionaire friends. 

Republicans know the American people see right through their bullshit. So instead, they’re trying to divert and distract by spending taxpayer dollars on a fake “impeachment” counting on the media to fall for their scheme and give more airtime to their lies than how their shutdown will impact your lives. 

  • So if you’re a parent, I want you to know that we are fighting to stop Republicans from forcing a government shutdown that would rip away access to pre-school from 100,000 toddlers, tear away access to life-saving health care for 70,000 children in need of checkups, chemo-therapy and trips to the ER….and keep over 2 million women, babies, and children from receiving formula and food assistance they need to survive. 
  • If you’re a senior or somebody who loves their parents and grandparents, I want you to know that we are fighting to stop Republicans from forcing a shutdown that would rob 60,000 of our grandmas and grandpas of lifeline access to food delivery and shelter…
  • With housing costs so high that nearly all of us are just a crisis or two away from becoming unhoused, I want you to know that we are fighting to stop Republicans from robbing nearly 300,000 households—20,000 veterans—of vouchers they need to keep a roof over their heads
  • And if you’re someone with an injury illness or disability, I want you to know that we’re fighting to stop them from forcing you to wait 2 whole months longer to receive the lifeline disability benefits you need to pay for rent and groceries

I don’t know many toddlers who would throw this kind of temper tantrum. And I don’t know any regular person outside of Washington – democrat or republican – who wants families evicted from their homes, flights canceled by TSA staffing shortages, and seniors unable to get help with Social Security and Medicare.

I want to wrap by saying that Republicans have made their priorities clear: protect the rich and CEOs of the biggest corporations, starve and evict families, cut people off from essential services, and attack trans people and the right to abortion at the expense of their own voters and our entire economy. 

We have a big fight ahead, but I want folks to know. Just like last time, the people-powered progressives here with us today will hold the line and make damn sure Republicans honor the deal they made. No cuts, no layoffs, and no shutdown. Period.

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