PRICE: HOUSE BUDGET STRIKES A GOOD BALANCE
Washington, D.C. - Congressman David Price (D-NC) today voted for a House plan to balance the federal budget by 2012 while also strengthening the economy with investments in scientific innovation and infrastructure improvements. It also provides robust funding for homeland security.
"This budget is a clear reflection of our priorities to build a stronger economy, keep our communities safe, and to do both in a fiscally responsible way," Price said. "After President Bush and the Republican Congress turned projected surpluses into record deficits, this Congress is committed to reversing the damage. Complying with pay-as-you-go budget rules is not an easy task, and it requires some tough choices. But this is the type of leadership the public expects from its representatives."
The budget also rejects the President's proposal for harmful cuts to first responders, health care for the poor and elderly, and critical crime-fighting initiatives. The House bill passed by a vote of 212 to 207.
"In the midst of this economic downturn, the House is responding with a budget plan that invests in growth and job creation," Price added. "And for those who are being squeezed by rising costs for everything from gas to groceries, we are strengthening the safety net and rejecting the President's draconian cuts to programs upon which our communities depend."
During debate of the Budget resolution, Price also voted for an alternative budget offered by the Congressional Black Caucus which would require the orderly redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. The alternative budget would also make stronger investments in health care, veterans and education, including funding to cover all children eligible for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). However, that initiative failed on a 126 to 292 vote.
Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Resolution (H.Con.Res. 312):
Strengthens the Economy — This budget provides crucial funding for the Democratic innovation agenda, increasing funding for math and science education and research. It provides $7.1 billion more than the President for vital education, job training, and social services programs. It also increases investments in new energy and vehicle technologies, funds training for "green jobs", and provides robust funding for highways, water and other infrastructure. And to address the housing crisis, it proposes a reserve fund to reverse the decline in affordable housing.
Makes America Safer — This budget funds high defense priorities such as reducing "loose nukes" and making quality of life improvements for our troops and their families. It also provides the funding for the VA to treat 5.8 million patients in 2009, including 333,275 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. And it preserves critical homeland security grant funds that our first responders rely on to keep our communities safe.
Invests in Health Care — This budget accommodates up to a $50 billion increase to expand children's health insurance to cover millions of uninsured children.
Provides Middle Class Tax Relief — This budget provides Alternative Minimum Tax relief for more than 20 million households without adding to the deficit.
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