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Villaraigosa to Lead Protest Against Federal Budget Cuts

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Mayor Villaraigosa will join local Congressional leaders and celebrity activists at a rally opposing federal budget cuts at Federal Plaza downtown this afternoon. Organizers are expecting thousands to attend the 2:30 p.m. protest and rally against H.R.1, the House Appropriations act that would potentially cut $61 billion from the federal budget and basically screw anyone who isn't already independently wealthy.

The proposed cuts would cost the city of Los Angeles $571 million, according to the mayor's office, and would cost the county over $1 billion.

The budget cuts would affect a broad range of health and social services and would also cut significant funding for environmental issues. The coalition organizing the rally hopes to make a statement to Congress that crucial government funding cannot be so drastically cut amid a an ongoing economic recovery. Proponents of the cuts argue that small business owners are taking too big of a hit.

Reps. Maxine Waters, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Karen Bass, Laura Richardson and Judy Chu, Councilman Richard Alarcon, actors Tim Robbins and James Cromwell and actress Mimi Kennedy are among the other scheduled speakers.

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The broad spectrum of local organizations impacted by H.R.1 include 826 LA, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Bet Tzedek, Catholic Charities, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles, Chrysalis, Coalition of Mental Health Professionals, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), LA's BEST, Los Angeles Urban League, Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, The Salvation Army, Saban Free Clinic and the Valley Economic Development Center.

H.R.1 was passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last month. The Senate looks to get some attention at the rally too for having passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which could dramatically affect California's emission standards.

Get your rally caps on because it's ON this afternoon -- rain... or clouds -- and billions of dollars are at hand.