US Senator Kerry Supports Obama’s Budget
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
“This is a balanced blue print to grow our economy, make some tough deficit reduction choices, and end the tax breaks for the wealthiest that never created jobs and gave us deficits in the first place. This plan maintains critical investments in research and development, education, and clean energy that will create jobs and strengthen economic recovery. It doubles down on supporting the next generation of roads, railways, and bridges as well as the development of a National Infrastructure Bank based on my bi-partisan proposal with Senators Hutchison and Graham.
“Tough decisions lie ahead. We will debate budget choices but it would be a mistake to shortchange investments in people from LIHEAP to Head Start and programs that make a difference each day for seniors, children, the disabled, and working poor families. No one should ever have to make the choice between food, medicine, and heating their homes, and I’ll continue to fight for the funding to protect the vulnerable, create jobs, and strengthen Massachusetts’ economy. If people in Washington can put ideology aside, we can cut waste in government without cutting out the heart of our country or the backbone of our economy.”
Notable local impacts from the President’s proposal include:
$3.02 billion for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps low income families heat their homes and serves over 200,000 Massachusetts households annually;
$2.025 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, which supports infrastructure improvements to provide safe drinking water, and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, which funds water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, nonpoint source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management;
$350 million for Community Service Block Grants (CSBG), which reduce poverty and revitalize low-income communities
$2.24 billion for building Littoral Combat Ships, including the contract for General Dynamics in Pittsfield, MA;
$247 million in increased funding for the FA-18 fighter jets, including the contract for General Electric in Lynn, MA;
$177 million in reductions to the Children’s Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) which provides freestanding children’s hospitals—including Children’s Hospital Boston—with federal support for graduate medical education;
$9.7 billion in reductions to Medicare’s Graduate Medical Education (GME), which would reduce Medicare payments to teaching hospitals in Massachusetts by approximately $438 million over the next decade; and
· $4 billion in reductions from shortening the exclusivity period for generic biologics from 12 years to 7 years, which would undermine promising biotechnical research and development.