U.S. Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) voted in favor of a Paul Ryan-drafted House budget bill Thursday, which promises $5.1 trillion in savings and a balanced budget in 10 years.
The GOP plan would drastically cut entrenched benefits like Medicare and Medicaid. It would also cut Obamacare subsidies, food stamp funding and Pell Grants for students.
Denham’s 10th District opponent in the upcoming June Primary, Michael Eggman, a democrat, says Denham’s vote is “effectively selling out the middle class.”
“Denham today embraced the most extreme wing of his party by voting for an out-of-touch bill that seeks to balance our budget on the backs of working families and seniors in California’s 10th district,” Eggman said in a statement. “At every juncture Congressman Denham’s budget protects the very wealthy and special interests while imposing harsh costs and increased tax burdens on middle class families and our seniors. I’m running for Congress to fight for Central Valley families, because Jeff Denham won’t.”
Eggman specifically pointed out that Denham’s vote would cut Pell Grants that help students access higher education, and that his vote will raise taxes on middle class families.
Eggman says that under the Ryan plan California students would receive $246.7 billion less in funding for Pell Grants and more than 21,000 fewer children in California would receive Head Start services. Also, 175,300 people would lose job training and employment services.
Denham, however, has a different view of his vote. Denham says he is fighting to protect seniors and the middle class.
““My focus is on finding long-term solutions to reduce the unbearable burden of debt we have placed on future generations,” he said in a statement. “Right now we are more than $17 trillion in debt, meaning each man, woman and child is responsible for over $55,000 each. The out-of-control spending must be stopped and replaced with responsible choices that give real solutions and certainty to families in the Central Valley.”
Denham says that, as a result of ObamaCare, seniors on Medicare have seen their plans cut by more than $300 billion. He recently introduced the Seniors’ Right to Know Act, which informs more than 14 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage nationwide about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting the healthcare plans they rely on.
“We cannot allow the healthcare law to stand in the way of us keeping our promise to our seniors,” he said.
Eggman countered that, “Denham turned his back on California families and seniors when he voted to end the Medicare guarantee by turning it into a voucher program that Central Valley seniors will never be able to afford.”