Democratic Rep: GOP Asking Students To Accept Doubled Rates Or ‘Forego Your Cancer Screenings’


Democratic Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday where she said that Democrats opposed making cuts in programs like food stamps and the 2010 health care reform law in order to pay for programs that President Obama is proposing. Bass said that such cuts would be counterproductive in the long run because programs like food stamps creates “money that goes directly to small business” and stimulates the economy. Bass also said that the Republican compromise on freezing student loan rates amounts to asking students to either accept doubling rates or “forego your cancer screenings.”

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When you’re talking about cutting ‘Meals on Wheels,’ when you’re talking about cutting food stamps, which actually is money that goes directly to small business – markets in communities – versus giving tax subsidies to farming corporations. These are the kinds of cuts that the Republicans are talking about, and I think that is completely unacceptable in this time period.

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts asked Bass how she would defend criticism that Democrats are criticizing the Republican budget plan while not having even proposed one of their own.

“I do think that the Democrats have been very responsible,” responded Bass. “The President has put forward a budget that certainly I support.” She said that Democrats are willing to cut portions of the budget, but would only do so as long as it is part of a “balanced approach.”

On March 28, a version of Obama’s proposed budget was brought to the House floor that was defeated 414-0. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) brought a version of the Obama budget to the House floor for a vote to show how few votes such a proposal would receive. Bass would eventually also vote against a Republican budget which passed the House on March 29 by 228 – 191 votes.

Bass went on to say that she is wearing a blue ribbon in honor of “foster month,” and to raise awareness the Republicans are seeking to cut funding from foster care programs as well. “Cutting money to fosters on foster care month? Can’t go with that,” said Bass.

Roberts concluded by asking about the proposed freeze in student loan interest rates. Republicans have agreed to freeze loan interest rates if portions of the health care reform bill are struck as a means of paying for that compromise. Bass said that Democrats oppose this compromise.

“I think it’s completely unacceptable to tell the youth of our country that if you don’t want your student loans to double, than you need to forego your cancer screenings,” said Bass.

Watch the segment via MSNBC:

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.