Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are leading a bipartisan effort in the Senate to strip hundreds of billions of dollars from the economic recovery plan, which makes strong, job-creating investments in the public welfare, from health care to clean energy. Because of Republican threats to filibuster the bill, votes of senators like them are key to passage. But the Nelson-Collins gang’s proposed cuts disproportionately harm women, children, and their future. The Wonk Room has already detailed their plan to cut support for education and health care. Nelson and Collins also looking to eliminate tens of billions of dollars in programs that would invest in a green economy:
They’re also proposing cutting $750 million from NASA’s exploration budget. These proposed cuts come on top of the Senate’s plan to cut half the funding for the Green Jobs Act from the House-approved package. Nor have Nelson and Collins proposed to cut the $4.6 billion in support for advanced coal plant research or $50 billion in nuclear loan guarantees. Support for coal and nuclear programs would have extremely low job-creation potential and would disproportionately help industries which contribute millions of dollars to Congress.
- increasing funding for green-collar job training and other key workforce training programs;
– increased investments in ready-to-go transit projects and rail upgrades;
– the Feingold amendment, allowing utilities to access funds for large-scale energy efficiency projects in private buildings;
– the Udall amendment, co-sponsored by Kerry, Whitehouse and Bingaman, to increase funding for State Energy Programs;
– construction and renovation projects that prioritize energy efficiency; and
– loan guarantees for retooling factories and retraining workers to “Make it in America.”