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The Root: Medicare Cuts Will Hurt Republicans, Too

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, (D-MO), speaks outside the White House in Washington on May 12. Cleaver expressed disappointment in Senate Republicans after voting in favor of controversial Medicare legislation on Tuesday. i

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, (D-MO), speaks outside the White House in Washington on May 12. Cleaver expressed disappointment in Senate Republicans after voting in favor of controversial Medicare legislation on Tuesday. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP
Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, (D-MO), speaks outside the White House in Washington on May 12. Cleaver expressed disappointment in Senate Republicans after voting in favor of controversial Medicare legislation on Tuesday.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, (D-MO), speaks outside the White House in Washington on May 12. Cleaver expressed disappointment in Senate Republicans after voting in favor of controversial Medicare legislation on Tuesday.

Carolyn Kaster/AP

Nsenga Burton writes for The Root.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II is irate that all but five Senate Republicans voted for a "Leadership Budget" that will change Medicare as we know it. Cleaver released the following statement after the Senate voted on the Republican Leadership's Budget that ends Medicare as we know it and raises costs for seniors:

"Today the Republicans in the Senate proved again how out of touch they are with the American people by voting on the Republican Leadership's Budget which ends Medicare as we know it.

"Voting for this budget clearly demonstrates their priorities: tax breaks for the wealthy and big business on the backs of hard working American families in our most vulnerable communities.

"Our nation's communities of color have been hit hardest by the effects of the recession. Even as our nation's economy slowly rebounds, our communities experience disproportionately higher rates of unemployment, home foreclosure, educational disadvantages, and economic hardship. As a result, vulnerable communities increasingly rely on public programs like Medicare to meet their basic needs, but these are the programs the Republican Leadership eradicates with their budget proposal.

"The Members of the Congressional Black Caucus believe that budgets serve as a window into the moral compass of a nation's conscience — and our nation's compass is horribly off. Recklessly cutting vital programs like job training, education, and health care to millions of hardworking American families is not a roadmap to balancing the budget. It is a roadmap to nowhere."

We agree. What kind of country turns its back on the elderly who are already struggling? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was grinning like a Cheshire Cat after the vote, knowing that the Republican strategy of crushing poor people while propping up the wealthy is working. Too bad that so many Republicans are actually members of the poor and working-class. Perhaps with this unconscionable move, they will finally realize that when McConnell and his cronies are talking about cuts, they're talking about poor and working-class Republicans too.

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