A Fiscally Responsible Budget With the Right Priorities for America
The 110th Congress is working to make progress for the American people on the toughest challenges we face; challenges that have gone unaddressed for years in Washington. Now there's a new direction.
Our agenda includes action to defend our country, grow our economy,
care for our children and families, preserve our planet, and
The budget under the Democratic leadership takes America in a new direction - a fiscally responsible budget with the right priorities for America.
The Democratic-led House budget is based on these principles:
- restoring fiscal responsibility and accountability;
- strengthening our national defense;
- and investing in the next generation and America's prosperity.
For the past six years, federal budgets have cut funds to critical American priorities--and turned a surplus into a record deficit during the same period. The Democratic-led House takes America in a new direction with a budget that begins to reverse those harmful cuts. This budget resolution better reflects our priorities and values to:
- expand health care for our children;
- provide our soldiers and veterans with care worthy of their sacrifice;
- support education for a 21st century workforce and a growing economy;
- and invest in renewable energy for an energy independent America, taking on global warming.
Restores Fiscal Integrity
The Democratic House budget resolution begins to restore integrity to a fiscal mess our children and grandchildren must not inherit. After Republican leadership failed to pass a budget at all last year, the Democratic-led House budget reaches balance in five years, by 2012. By contrast, the President's budget does not achieve balance. The House budget has lower deficits over the five years.
The House budget puts in place tough “pay as you go” spending principles, institutes program reforms to crack down on wasteful and fraudulent spending, and enforcement of the collection of unpaid taxes.
Much of our nation's debt is held by foreign investors, making our fiscal integrity not just a matter of national self determination, but also a matter of national security.
Protects Middle-Income Families from a Tax Increase
The Democratic House budget resolution protects 19 million middle-income American families against the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) this year and creates a reserve fund accommodating a permanent fix to the AMT. The AMT was adopted originally to prevent high-income taxpayers from using loopholes to avoid paying their share of taxes. The current AMT, however, has strayed far from those original goals. It was not adjusted for inflation, and over the next decade, AMT liability on middle-income families will increase by hundreds of billions of dollars without this fix.
Without a Tax Increase, Funds the Right Priorities for America
Defending Our Nation
- Provides robust defense spending levels while targeting resources towards our most pressing security concerns.
- Provides more homeland security funding than the President.
- Increases funding above the President by $3.5 billion for veterans' health care and benefits, and to reduce huge backlogs in claims processing.
- Provides funds for 9/11 Commission recommendations, and rejects the President's cuts to first responders.
Caring for our Children and Families
- Supports extension of health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured children.
- Provides substantially more funding over the President's budget for education, including funding for No Child Left Behind, special education, and helping students afford college.
- Provides funds to assist communities and rebuild housing in the aftermath of Katrina.
- Rejects the President's cut to the Social Services Block Grant.
- Increases funding for Head Start and rejects the President's cuts to food assistance programs that research shows dramatically improve a child's chance for academic success.
- Includes an Affordable Housing initiative.
- Rejects the Administration's proposal to cut Medicare and Medicaid funding by $300 billion over the next 10 years--cuts that would make health care less accessible and affordable for millions of Americans.
Growing Our Economy
- Provides additional resources to begin to address long-standing domestic priorities within a fiscally responsible framework, including increased funding for scientific innovation and a 2008 program level for education, training, and social services that is $3.0 billion above current services.
- Begins to reverse six years of high deficits and mounting debt.
- Protects 19 million middle-income families against an unintended AMT liability and provides for the extension of middle-income tax cuts.
- Rejects the President's cuts in small business and job assistance training.
Preserving Our Planet
- Invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce global warming, and promote new technologies that can create American jobs.
- Supports $14 billion in savings from repealing subsidies and royalty relief to big oil companies that are posting record profits.
- Supports increased conservation funding.
- Restores the President's harmful cuts in environmental programs, such as clean water grants for states.
- Institutes tough program integrity initiatives to crack down on fraudulent payments in Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance programs.
- Supports IRS enforcement initiative to collect unpaid taxes from those who are not paying what they owe, thus helping to close the “tax gap” of uncollected taxes.
- Provides additional resources to reduce huge backlogs in claims processing in the Veterans' Administration, Social Security and other agencies.
Supplemental Funding Bill Complements Budget
Last week the House passed a Supplemental spending bill that also addressed certain emergency and overdue spending priorities that went unaddressed last year as a result of the Republican leadership's failure to pass nine of the 11 must-pass spending bills--priorities ranging from veterans' care to Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery to agriculture disaster aid for crop and livestock losses in 2005, 2006 and 2007, to children's health care. With the House Budget Resolution coming to the floor, the House sets out a responsible spending blueprint for the future.