U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama's proposed national budget for fiscal year 2011.
"The President made clear in his State of the Union that job creation is priority number one and this budget backs that up. To do this, the FY 2011 Budget makes critical investments to spur private sector job creation -- and will focus on the key areas that will help to strengthen the economic security of American families with investments in education, clean energy, infrastructure, and innovation," said Pascrell, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.
There's a little bit of pain for everybody in this budget, but I believe it harkens a new sense of responsibility and accountability in the federal government. I don't like everything I see in this budget, but I like the path this budget puts before the nation and I applaud President Obama's courage in delivering the tough medicine the country needs," stated Pascrell.
"As a former educator, I agree whole-heartedly with the president's priority on education in his proposed budget. As a former mayor, I appreciate the lower taxes the president's budget will provide for 3.2 million New Jersey families. As a member of the House Ways and Means Committee fighting on the front-lines of health care reform, I welcome this budget's ability to bring down health care costs and expand coverage to more New Jersey families. I will continue to advocate for fiscal responsibility as we continue to work on reducing the national deficit and leading this nation out of the current economic recession."
Through President Obama's budget proposal, New Jersey will see:
Tax cuts for 3.2 million families.
$594.5 million for schools, students, and teachers.
$2.3 billion in new funding for Pell Grants to help families pay for college.
A pay raise for the 25,500 men and women in New Jersey serving in our Armed Forces.
Creating Jobs, Getting the Economy Moving Again, and Investing for Long-Term Growth
Create Jobs, Cut Taxes, and Support Our Families
* Extend for another year the Making Work Pay Tax Credit for 110 million American families, including 3.2 million families in NJ.
* Increase the child care tax break by providing a 35% credit for middle-class families earning up to $85,000 a year and at least some additional credit to families earning up to $113,000. Families could claim up to $3,000 in expenses for one child or $6,000 for two children. Many middle-class families with two children will see value of the credit nearly double, from $1,200 to $2,100.
* Expand child care funding for working parents by adding $1.6 billion to the Development Fund, the largestChild Care increase in 20 years, to serve an one-year additional 235,000 children. For NJ $143.2 million in child care assistance.
* Deploy future TARP funds to assist homeowners threatened with foreclosure and small businesses needing access to affordable credit.
Education: Prepare Our Children for the Jobs of the Future
* $1.2 billion for NJ to develop better teachers and classrooms to meet 21st century challenges - part of a record level of funding for the nation's schools to foster educational excellence, improve student achievement, and reward successful outcomes to prepare our nation's children for global competitiveness.
* $900 million nationwide - a $354.4 million increase - for School Turnaround Grants to help provide the resources needed to turn around the lowest-performing schools.
* $300 million in new grants - improve teaching and learning in science and math.
* $150 million to competitive grants for school districts, nonprofits, and other organizations to test, validate, and scale promising strategies to improve teaching and accelerate student learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
* Raise the maximum Pell award to $5,710, and increase the funding available to NJ students to $690.3 million - will help 168,000 afford college.
* A one-year elimination of the tax on capital gains from new investments in small business stock. The Recovery Act allowed a 75% exclusion from capital gains taxes on small business investments.
* $17.5 billion in 7(a) loan guarantees that will help small businesses operate and expand, with an expanded loan level from $2 million to $5 million.
* $7.5 billion in guaranteed lending for commercial real estate development and heavy machinery purchases.
* $250 million to support affordable lending in low-income communities through targeted support to Community Development Financial Institutions.
* Extend through 2010 the Recovery Act provision that allows small businesses to immediately expense up to $250,000 of qualified investment.
* $3 billion in Small Business Investment Company loans to support new businesses and new jobs through early-stage and mezzanine small business financing.
* $25 million in direct microloans to support small loans to emerging entrepreneurs and other promising but "un-bankable" borrowers.
* $250 million in financial support will help these local financial institutions offer affordable loans to small businesses, consumers, nonprofit developers, and home buyers in communities that lack access to affordable credit.
* $534 million, a 20% increase, to launch a National Export Initiative, part of a federal effort to open new markets to American products and create new American jobs.
* $6.8 billion for New Jersey to provide health coverage to low-income children and families.
* Bolster prevention activities by expanding community health activities.
* $2.5 billion nationwide for health centers to provide affordable high-quality primary and preventative care to underserved populations.
* New Medicare and Medicaid initiatives to provide higher quality care at lower costs.
* $79 million to strengthen regional and local partnerships among rural health care providers, increase the number of health care providers in rural areas, and improve the performance and financial stability of rural hospitals.
* $169 million to place doctors, nurse practitioners, and dentists in medically underserved areas to improve access to needed health care services.
Highways, Airports, and Infrastructure
* $1.7 billion for construction and improvements to roads, highways, and airports throughout New Jersey.
* $107 million to modernize and expand clean, safe drinking water across New Jersey.
* $4 billion to create a National Infrastructure Investment Fund to invest in projects of regional or national significance. The Fund will provide grants or loans or a blend of both for projects, and will leverage non-federal resources including private capital.
* Make permanent the Build America Bonds initiative, an innovative way of financing infrastructure and other investments, which provides significant help to cities and reduces borrowing costs.
* Build on the $7.2 billion Recovery Act program to expand broadband deployment with an additional $418 million to expand broadband services to rural communities.
* More than $1 billion to modernize the nation's air traffic system to improve the efficiency, safety, and capacity of the aviation system.
* Build on the historic $8 billion Recovery Act down payment for high-speed rail with another $1 billion, creating jobs and sparking transportation innovation across the country.
Military and Veterans
* $60.3 billion for the VA, with $50.6 billion in advance appropriations so that medical care for the nation's Veterans is not hindered by budget delays in Congress.
* Build on the historic increase in VA funding with a 20% total increase since 2009.
* A pay raise to keep military pay in line with the private sector.
* An average military housing allowance increase of 4% , as well as monthly special skill-based payments, enlistment and reenlistment bonuses, and other benefits.
* $1.1 billion to expand affordable, high-quality child care services for military families.
* $1.9 billion to help families meet the challenges brought on by repeated deployments and family separations through expanded counseling and assistance services.
* $85 million for enhanced career and educational opportunities for military spouses through tuition assistance and federal internship programs.
* High-quality medical care to service members, their families, and retiree beneficiaries, including support for wounded warrior transition units and centers of excellence in vision, hearing, traumatic brain injury, and other areas to continuously improve the care provided to wounded, ill, and injured service members.
* Allow, for the first time, highly disabled veterans who are medically retired from service to be eligible for concurrent receipt of disability benefits from VA in addition to Department of Defense retirement benefits.
* $5.1 billion for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, including $1.8 billion for basic energy sciences to discover novel ways to produce, store, and use energy.
* $54.5 billion in loan guarantees for nuclear power facilities.
* As much as $5 billion in loan guarantees for innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
* $73 million -- a $14 million increase -- to build agency capacity to review and permit renewable energy projects on federal lands. The Interior Department has set a goal to permit at least 9,000 megawatts of new solar, wind, and geothermal electricity generation capacity on Interior-managed lands by the end of 2011.
* $545 million for advanced coal climate change technologies to focus resources to develop carbon capture technologies with broad applications to advanced coal power systems, existing power plants, and industrial sources.
* $300 million for the Advanced Research Projects Agency--Energy to accelerate game-changing energy technologies in need of rapid and flexible experimentation or engineering.
* Nearly $2.4 billion, an increase of $113 million, for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs including $302 million for solar energy, $220 million for biofuels and biomass R&D, $325 million for advanced vehicle technologies, and $231 million for energy efficient building technologies.
* $793 million for clean energy activities and civilian nuclear energy programs, including research and development and infrastructure programs.
The budget increases funding for the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) to $1.05 billion, this is an increase of $100 million from the FY10 funding of SHSGP at $950 million.
However, the President's Budget proposes to consolidate some of the smaller grant programs and incorporate them as allowable expenses into several larger Programs. SHSGP funding now includes expenses for the Citizen Corps Grant Program, Driver's License Security Grant Program, Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program, and the Metropolitan Medical Response System. This move in the budget basically eliminates these programs as stand-alone grant programs.
The budget increases funding for the Urban Area Secure Initiative (UASI) to $1.1 billion, this is an increase of $213 million from the FY10 funding of UASI at $887 million.