COALITION CALLS ON MIKE BILIRAKIS TO VOTE AGAINST PRESIDENTS BUDGET-Andrew Stelzer

03/23/06

A coalition of groups is calling on several Florida state representatives to reconsider their votes on President Bush’s proposed budget, which includes cuts to education, healthcare and veterans programs. This morning a press conference was held outside the north Tampa offices of Congressman Mike Bilirakis, asking him to vote to preserve programs that are essential to many of Florida’s lower and middle class residents. Phil Compton from the Florida consumer Action Network said although Bilirakis voted for the budget resolution already, he’s headed back to Washington and will have a chance to vote against the cuts.

ACT-Compton “on the heels of cuts to programs, Bush has proposed cits..it would slash spending by 183 billion. Ed, healthcare, and vets benefit which Bilirakis says are important. Slashes to Medicare, Medicaid, reviving the attack on social security, its puts a bull’s-eye on Florida workers..�

As part of the Emergency Campaign for America Priorities, FCAN is calling on the house to at least match the Senates version of the budget resolution, which doesn’t include many of the more controversial reductions in support for programs. They are also calling on the house to vote against making some of the Presidents tax cuts for wealthy Americans permanent

ACT-Compton “when Bilirakis goes back to work the house will unveil draconian budget cuts. He voted for them and we are afraid he will vote for worse cuts..�

Marcos Polasis from moveon.org, read from one of the more than seventy letters the group of activist was presenting to Mike Bilirakis staff, calling on him to vote against the budget cuts and against making some of Bush’s tax cuts for wealthier American permanent.

ACT-Polasis “Bush is pushing for cuts to public education. This bill is a counter to his no child left behind he’s supposed to be funding that and isn’t. Childcare, bush wants to kick them out of childcare. Bush is trying to use the budget and immediately slash benefits, bush wasn’t to cut Medicaid, abandoning millions of youth, and she urges pleas to oppose budget cuts, they don’t benefit Americans they benefit the wealthy..�

Temple Terrace resident Dave Frosher said Bilirakis has been a good representative on many issue throughout the years, and he cant understand why is he siding with rich Americans over the people of the 9th congressional district in Hillsborough Pasco and Pinellas county.

ACT-Frosher “tax cuts for the rich that don’t need it? How about those that do. Lets think about America instead of lobbyists, you’ve voted o help Floridians consider changing your vote..�

Ryan a Medicare recipient, said he will personally be effected by the president new budget proposal.

ACT-Ryan “myself I fear that funding fro social security could be cut that’s what I’ve heard, my fear is that private companies wont pay for medication.. I get 700/mo in medication, that would be out of my pocket, that is gonna take up my entire medication and I got to choose apartment or medicine, so ill be living on the street..�

FCAN is hoping that Bilirakis will follow the lead of several other house republicans and vote against the presidents’ budget resolution. In the preliminary vote, the budget passed by only 2 votes. Moveon.org is also holding events all over the country today calling for a no vote on the house budget resolution. In Florida events are being held outside the offices of representatives Katherine Harris, Mark Foley, and Clay Shaw. WMNF asked Compton is he expects the vote in the house to be close.

ACT “the vote on the budget resolution was so close. One vote could make the difference they are all coming in extremely close, we ant him to look at the fact that he is retiring and if he rally cares vote against burdening us with a huge deficit while cutting services..�

For more information about the Emergency Campaign for America Priorities, log onto www.actnow.org

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