Archive for Wednesday, June 16, 2010

U.S. Senate battle threatens to derail Kansas budget

June 16, 2010


— A battle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday threatened to put a $130 million hole into the delicately balanced Kansas state budget.

The Senate failed to muster enough votes to consider extending the increased federal matching rate for funding Medicaid, the program that provides health care to needy Kansans.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, who signed into law a state budget that relies on $130 million of the additional federal funding, said he was disappointed in the Senate action.

“This inaction in Washington has dire consequences to everyday Kansans and stalls our economic recovery,” Parkinson said. “Without this federal assistance, our balanced state budget will be in jeopardy, potentially resulting in more layoffs and cuts to critical services, like education.”

Parkinson, a Democrat, has urged Kansas’ U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Sam Brownback, both Republicans, to support the funding.

But Roberts and Brownback have declined, citing concerns about the growing national debt.

In a statement last week, Brownback said, “With our debt out of control, we need to be fiscally responsible. I will support (the increased Medicaid funding) extension as long as it’s offset and paid for, which can easily be done by the White House and congressional Democrats by using existing stimulus funds.”

Brownback is the leading Republican candidate for governor. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, criticized Brownback’s stand on the issue.

“Brownback didn’t ask for budget offsets when he was voting for record spending, new debt and billions in earmarks. But now when it comes to caring for vulnerable and elderly Kansans, and stabilizing our economy, he suddenly has a list of demands,” Holland said.

Parkinson said he held out hope that the package before the Senate wasn’t dead yet, saying, “I will continue to work on this issue moving forward.”


Centerville 6 years ago

Rothschild, somehow, neglects to include two facts: Roberts has, repeatedly, reminded Parkinson, that this is imaginary money in a showboat bill And It's the up-for-reelection Democrats in US Senate who are holding this bill up. Follow the action, not the KDP talking points.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"It's the up-for-reelection Democrats in US Senate who are holding this bill up."

So are you saying that Roberts and Brownback support this bill?

olddognewtrix 6 years ago

Centerville must have mush for a brain! It is typical Republican "just say no" behavior on the part of Roberts and Brownback--no care at all for the elderly and disabled citizens of Kansas

Centerville 6 years ago

Go ask Harry Ried why this bill isn't on the floor already. There are enough Democrats to pass it....if enough of them are willing to forfeit their jobs.

catsmeow 6 years ago

Get used to it Gov. As we speak your predecessor is slicing and dicing medicaid and every other medical related service from the federal budget. Once Obamacare is the source of medical care and services, no state will be able to care for needy or elderly citizens. Not one Republican voted for this disaster so lay the blame where it belongs. Democrats have been in control of legislating our lives into the toilet since 2006. Obama's election just gave them a super burst to ruin every state and individual family budget. You wanted it. You got it. Deal with it.

jafs 6 years ago

And, if it turns out that things improve, will you give Obama and the Democrats credit?

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Obama has zip squat to do with this. This is a deadlock in Congress. Get over yourself.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

Looks more to me like it's the Republican Senators of this state that are part of the problem. Brownback has a vested interest in sinking this state's present administration to give himself fodder for the coming election. "Obamacare" isn't even in effect yet. For a theocrat, Brownback could care less about the poor, aged and infirm. This is what we're looking at for our next governor.

Mike Quillin 6 years ago

Makes me sick....and a trillion dollars for two useless wars. We can't even gain ground on 130 million for the people in need. Way to go politicians!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"and a trillion dollars for two useless wars."

The eventual full cost of these two wars is easily more like $3 trillion, and counting. (Heck, that's merely $10,000 per US resident, but spread out over the next three generations, with interest tacked on, it's probably only $8,000-- a real bargain.)

jackpot 6 years ago

And Brownback wants my vote for Gov. Will he deal with this then? No I guess by Jan. Gov Parkinson will have had to fix this mess.

Mixolydian 6 years ago

Democrats control the government lock, stock and key. If they wanted this passed they could do it today.

If they want the republicans on board too all they have to do is offset this spending with federal cuts elsewhere or from the beaucoup stimulus money waiting to be doled out to democrat patrons.

Someone has to stop the out of control federal spending before we end up like Iceland and Greece and Spain and Portugal and all the rest of the countries teetering on economic collapse because of unsupportable debt.

Brownback and Roberts are the only ones making sense in this deal.

Cait McKnelly 6 years ago

We wouldn't have "unsupportable debt" if it hadn't been for two very useless wars adding three trillion dollars to our national debt. (See above.) When George Walker Bush took office he was handed a treasury surplus from the Clinton administration that an incoming president could only dream about. Perhaps if Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would be willing to take responsibility for repaying the billions of dollars they stole from the American people it would at least show some conscience. It's what they're making Bernie Madoff do and frankly I find him no worse.

MyName 6 years ago

The only way this makes sense for Brownback and Roberts is because the people who actually use these problems aren't likely to vote for them anyway. So they can safely piss them off while pretending to "take a stand" on the budget. Until they're willing to also cut defense, or Ag subsidies, or tax cuts for the rich, they will still be only paying lip service on the budget while doing next to nothing.

"Someone has to stop the out of control federal spending before we end up like Iceland and Greece and Spain and Portugal..."

Yes, and the first step in controlling spending is clearly to take more money from poor people and old people. Congress increased the matching in order to keep State who were dealing with huge budget holes from cutting back on the program even further. It was yet another way to attempt to deal with fallout from the economy tanking. Has the economy turned around to the point where the states have fixed their budgets yet? Clearly no. So why are the Republicans stalling on this? Because they can safely tick those voters off with no consequences.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Did someone hit the delete button on all the threads?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Very odd. I can post on Safari, but none of the posts are visible.

I can read the posts on Firefox, but I can't log in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

I expect somebody will be up late figuring this mess out.

Jonathan Kealing 6 years ago

We're up, working on it. Hope to have it straightened out soon. Sorry!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

No worries. I'm sure the checks for posting here will all cash just the same.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

FYI, it now seems to be working fine on both Safari and Firefox on OS 10.6.4.

Liberty275 6 years ago

This inaction in Washington has dire consequences to everyday Kansans

Let this be a lesson to you all. Don't allow yourself to get latched on the teet of the government.

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