The Republicans in Congress are at it again. Recently, the Ways and Means Committee voted to make permanent corporate tax breaks totaling $310 billion, while striking a provision that would have helped abused foster children find work, that cost about $1 million a year.
That's right: Republicans in Congress are putting corporate tax breaks ahead of helping foster kids find jobs when they reach age 18.
Congressman Lloyd Doggett wasn't having any of it, and gave a strong speech about how cutting this $1 million program will cause a number of adverse affects for foster kids, who already have the odds stacked against them.
Watch the video and read Congressman Doggett's remarks below the jump.
Here is an excerpt of Congressman Lloyd Doggett's remarks:
The provision was removed to address the needs of these at risk kids, who are basically dumped on the streets in many cases. They can't find employment, don't have other means of supporting themselves, and too many of them turn to prostitution. And I thought that this provision, which I did not originally conceive, was a modest way of addressing that. At least so they can go flip burgers or do whatever other tasks they might do– that they'll have a Social Security card; that they'll have their health records to show their employer; and that they'll be a little bit more employable.
It just smacks of such inconsistency to, on this day, lead off with a bill that has this key provision removed that costs only about a million dollars a year and not be concerned about approving $310 billion. In other words, the cost of this bill as currently drafted is maybe, I don't know, two or three days of the unpaid tax breaks that are about to be approved in the Committee. It is a cost that is very real and it is a tradeoff. It is a question of whether we provide some minimal services to help these desperate young people and that we insist that that must be paid for, as I think it should be. But that we are unwilling to pay for provisions, some of which, frankly I don't think are worth being paid for. But we are unwilling to pay for any of the provisions in the corporate tax breaks that are being considered today. It is an incredible conflict in priorities where we can't do a million dollars a year for desperate youth, but we can do $310 billion over the next 10 years in significant corporate tax breaks that are not being paid for. I think it's wrong. I think it's the wrong set of priorities.
Doggett removed the amendment in the hopes of adding it in later, but with this current Republican-controlled Congress it's hard to imagine much good getting done in the near future.