The US House of Representatives plans to vote tomorrow, Thursday, October 5, on a 2018 budget resolution that calls for deep spending cuts to many important public services and systems that improve the lives of individuals and families across California. The House budget resolution also paves the way for fast-track approval of a package of major tax cuts that would largely benefit wealthy households and large corporations. In fact, the current tax framework favored by President Trump and Republican congressional leaders would deliver 82 percent of the tax cuts in our state to the top 1 percent of California households in 2018, according to estimates released this week.
Also this week, the US Senate began deliberations on a Senate budget resolution that will pursue similar paths to the House budget resolution with regard to spending and taxes.
While details of the House and Senate budget plans would need to be worked out in coming weeks, one thing is clear: Together these efforts represent the most significant threat to the health and well-being of millions of Californians, and to the fiscal health of the State of California, since the Great Recession. For instance, the House budget resolution calls for $1.5 trillion in cuts to health care services for low-income populations through Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) over the next decade and $150 billion in cuts in food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or CalFresh in California) over the next decade. These services are particularly important in a number of the congressional districts represented by members of California’s House Republican delegation. In Representative Valadao’s District 21, covering parts of Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties, for example, over 400,000 people — 57 percent of the district’s residents — are enrolled in Medi-Cal, while 26,000 are enrolled in CalFresh.
The cuts proposed in the House budget resolution would significantly reduce federal spending on these programs and would shift responsibility to state governments, like California, for deciding whether and how to cover health care, food assistance, and other income-security programs for millions of Californians. In other words, state leaders would be confronted by a deeply troubling choice between destabilizing families and individuals or destabilizing the state budget.
While the federal budget deliberations taking place this week, and continuing in the weeks ahead, have deep potential impacts for every part of our state, the political reality is that key votes on these issues will be taken by the 14 Republican members of California’s House delegation. In order to shed light on the local importance of the choices these Congressmembers face, we have provided House district Fact Sheets that provide district-by-district figures on public services and supports and local information on social and economic conditions.
We have provided such Fact Sheets for all 53 congressional districts in California. We hope they prove useful in lifting up the stakes of federal tax and budget choices for individuals, families, and communities across California.
— Chris Hoene