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President Obama's Budget Invests in Education and Rolls Back Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree agrees with those measures, but says more money needed for low-income heating assistance than proposed

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said she supports provisions in President Obama's budget proposal that make important investments in training and education while rolling back tax breaks for the rich.

"The President's plan has a lot of good proposals in it--like making the wealthy pay more in taxes while investing in the education and infrastructure to create jobs and give people skills that will lead to good-paying jobs," Pingree said. "It also responsibly shrinks the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade."

Pingree also applauded the President's proposal to increase taxes on the wealthy.

"The President is right to push for the Buffet Rule and a roll back of the Bush tax cuts on the rich," Pingree said. "Millionaires shouldn't be paying lower tax rates than working families."

In his budget, Obama has proposed an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund to train two million workers for good-paying jobs in high-growth and high-demand industries. "Maine's Community College system is providing the kind of education that meets the demands of local businesses and will help young people find jobs that will keep them in Maine," Pingree said.

The President increased his budget proposal for low-income heating assistance to $3 billion, which Pingree said was a good start but is not good enough.

"Fuel prices continue to be high and families in cold-weather states like Maine are struggling. I will continue pushing for a funding level of $4.7 billion, which still only gets us back to the levels of a few years ago," Pingree said.

Pingree introduced a bill in the House similar to legislation Senator Snowe has introduced in the Senate that would fund LIHEAP at $4.7 billion this year.

While President Obama proposed a number of ways to improve Medicare in his budget, Pingree was critical of Republican budget proposals that would shrink or end Medicare as we know it. House Republicans have said they don't want to vote on the President's budget and instead will introduce an alternative proposal, similar to the budget they voted for last year that would have effectively ended Medicare.

"We need to bring down the deficit but not on the backs of seniors who have worked all their lives and paid in to Medicare and Social Security," Pingree said. "I'm glad to see the President propose higher taxes on the rich so they can start paying their fair share, and not shift the burden to seniors and working families."


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