by Dan McMenamin, Bay City News
Sen. Barbara Boxer visited San Francisco today to criticize the budget proposal put forward by House Republicans, which she said will negatively impact working-class Americans.
Boxer held a news conference at the Ferry Building this morning to discuss the Republicans’ proposal, which she said could cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and threaten the country’s economic recovery.
The senator invited some Bay Area residents to the event who she said were examples of the people who would be affected by the proposed budget cuts, and whose stories she hoped would “underscore the devastating impact the Republican budget would have on the day-to-day lives of Californians.”
Boxer’s guests included Heather Penman, a Concord woman who was a patient at Planned Parenthood, which Republicans want to strip of all its federal funding.
Penman said Planned Parenthood, which offers a variety of women’s services including free exams, found pre-cancerous cells during a pap smear.
“Had it gone undetected, it would’ve resulted in full-blown cancer,” she said. “I might not be alive today.”
Penman said people think the organization only deals with unplanned pregnancies, but it provides a variety of services for many women and “shouldn’t be reduced to some political argument.”
Another guest was Hobert Lee, a Marine Corps veteran from San Francisco who was homeless and dealing with substance abuse issues, but who now works with people suffering from similar problems.
Lee was helped by the nonprofit Swords to Plowshares, an organization that helps veterans but could also be subject to budget cuts.
“Without their help, I would not be able to do the things I’ve been doing,” he said.
Boxer said Democrats and Republicans “have to negotiate, and sit down together” to come up with a budget plan that works for both sides.