Van Hollen Statement on President Obama’s Budget Proposal

Feb 13, 2012

Washington, DC – Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement on President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposal:

“The President has put forth a budget that invests in job creation and economic growth in the short-term and gets our nation on a long-term, responsible path to fiscal sustainability. It builds on the recent good news about our economy, recognizing that the recovery is still fragile and that our first priority must be to put Americans back to work. In the near-term, we can boost our economic recovery by passing a payroll tax cut extension and continuing to provide unemployment insurance to the millions who are out of work through no fault of their own. Additionally, this budget includes key elements of the President’s American Jobs Act, which has been sitting before Congress since September. For example, the proposed infrastructure investments will put thousands to work repairing our roads, bridges, and schools. If we hope to keep our economic recovery moving forward, the time is long overdue for Congress to pass these proposals.

“The fastest and most effective way to reduce our deficit is to put Americans back to work – in fact, CBO recently estimated that we would cut the deficit by one-third if our economy could be at full employment. But the President also includes additional measures to put our fiscal house in order, making tough choices and achieving deficit targets through a balance of spending cuts and increased revenue. It asks the wealthiest 2 percent of people, for example, to go back to the tax rates they paid under President Clinton – a time of great growth and prosperity – but also makes difficult cuts. We must all share responsibility as we work to reduce our debt and deficit.

“The President’s budget stands in sharp contrast to last year’s Republican budget – much of which we expect to see again this year. We need to get serious about debts and deficits in this country, but we must do it in a responsible way. The President takes a balanced approach to deficit reduction, but Republicans continue to insist on ending the Medicare guarantee and slashing vital investments in education, while giving tax breaks and sweetheart deals to the super wealthy.

“The President’s budget is a responsible proposal that will help America move forward, while Republicans want to pursue a lopsided agenda that will cost jobs, hurt the economy, and help the richest in our country at the expense of working Americans.”