News Release

Advocates Call on Congress to Cut Wasteful Subsidies, Not Public Priorities

For Immediate Release:

ST. LOUIS, March 1 - As the U.S. Senate began negotiations to stave off a federal government shutdown, representatives from MOPIRG were joined by Environment Missouri state advocate Ted Mathys and St. Charles mayor Patricia York at a press event at St. Louis City Hall to urge the Senate to focus their spending cuts on wasteful handouts to narrow special interests.

As detailed in a new comparison chart released at the event by MOPIRG, the House-passed spending resolution makes deep cuts to public priorities while largely leaving in place wasteful subsidies and tax loopholes for special interests. MOPIRG sent letters of disappointment to supporters of the House resolution.

“Tough choices are supposed come only after the easy ones,” said Matt Erickson. “It’s difficult to imagine how cuts to Pell Grants, food safety, and clean drinking water come before subsidies to BP and advertising for fast food and clothing. And yet, that’s exactly what the House resolution does.”

"Missouri families have a fundamental right to drink clean water and breathe clean air, but this bill is the biggest assault on both in recent history," said Ted Mathys, Advocate for Environment Missouri. "Americans may have voted for a lot of things in November, but they surely didn't vote for more contaminated drinking water supplies, more asthma attacks, weakened protections for the wetlands and streams that feed our great rivers like the Meramec and Missouri, or more threats to the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge and other national parks and recreational open spaces in our state."

MOPIRG compared the spending cuts in the House budget resolution and President Obama’s budget proposal to a series of reports produced by MOPIRG. One report, Toward Common Ground: Bridging the Political Divide to Reduce Federal Spending, identified $600 billion in spending reductions over 5 years that have support across the political spectrum. The spending reductions detailed in the report amount to more than the reductions called for in the House passed resolution.

“The waste identified in the Common Ground report should be low-hanging fruit,” Erickson said. “Rather than preparing for a partisan brawl in the Senate, why not start where we might find some agreement?”

MOPIRG expressed appreciation for Representatives Clay, Carnahan and Cleavers vote on H.R. 1 and called on Senators McCaskill and Blunt to reject the House blueprint and start with cuts to programs that that do not serve the public interest.

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