Bill Would Provide Tax Relief to Middle Class Families, Balance Budget in Five Years
Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) today joined a majority in the House of Representatives in support of a new budget conference agreement for fiscal year 2009. The Democratic budget plan charts a new direction for the country making key investments in education, energy, veterans' services, and infrastructure. The Budget conference report for FY 2009 was passed with a 214 - 210 vote.
"For too long, the Republican Congress and President Bush have run up big deficits while ignoring the priorities of the American people," said Rep. Baca. "I am proud to support a budget that will help to rebuild our economy and reclaim our fiscal future. This bill restores our nation's infrastructure, and also gives our children the educational tools they need to succeed by providing an additional $8.4 billion in education funding over the President's budget request."
The Democratic budget is a sharp departure from the economically unsound budgets proposed by the President and the previous Republican Congress, which have lead to a $9 trillion deficit. The budget approved by the House today is fiscally responsible, resulting in a $22 billion surplus by 2012 and adhering to strict pay-as-you-go budget principles.
The new Democratic budget makes key investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, which will create hundreds of thousands of green jobs. Additionally, the budget honors the service of our brave men and women in uniform by providing a $4.9 billion increase over Fiscal Year 2008 for veterans' health care. This funding will allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to treat 5.8 million patients in 2009, including an estimated 333,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. It also strengthens our national security by increasing funding to protect America from terrorism over the President's proposed levels.
The Democratic plan also rejects the harmful cuts in the President's budget - including cuts that would devastate Medicare programs, Medicaid-school based programs, and COPS community police service grants. The Democratic budget also includes significant tax relief, including an extension of the marriage penalty relief, an extension of the child tax credit, and allows for estate tax reform.
"With the costs of education, gas, and health care soaring, Californians need a budget that provides real answers to our communities," added Rep. Baca. "Our balanced budget brings fiscal responsibility back to Washington, gives middle class families the tax breaks they deserve, and helps make our communities safer and stronger."