June 16, 2011
Congresswoman Susan Davis Stands Up for Women, Children and Consumers
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-San Diego) today voted against a bill that would reduce protections for low-income women and children and put consumers at risk. A proposed appropriations bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and other agencies would sacrifice the futures of millions of low-income Americans.
“Apparently when it comes to who must sacrifice in order to reduce the deficit, the House majority is saying ‘women and children first,’” said Davis. “There is no doubt that we need to get our debt under control. However, our nation’s most vulnerable did not cause this problem, but they are being asked to carry the burden of fixing it. The bill also weakens our ability to protect consumers from price gouging at the gas pump or from a financial crisis like the one we experienced in 2008.”
The bill would dramatically cut funding to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). This critical program provides assistance to children up to five years of age, as well as to pregnant, postpartum, and breast-feeding women who are nutritionally at-risk because of inadequate nutrition and income. The WIC program provides them with nutritional supplements and would suffer an 11% cut if the bill were enacted into law.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an independent agency responsible for regulating and managing the U.S. futures and options market, gets a 15% reduction from last year and 44% less than what the President Obama requested. The Dodd-Frank Act, enacted last year, gives the CFTC and the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulatory powers over previously unregulated over-the-counter derivatives. The increase in the President’s request for the CFTC was to fund the CFTC's new authority.
“We’re saying it’s okay to have fewer and less qualified regulators to protect us from market abuses,” said Davis. “Haven’t we learned any lessons? Speculation on Wall Street has caused massive harm on Main Street.”
The CFTC is also charged with monitoring the oil speculation market which affects gas prices. In the past few months, gas prices have consistently hovered above the $4 a gallon mark.