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Stabenow: Senate Balances Budget, Reflects Middle Class Values

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who serves as a member of the Senate Budget Committee, today announced passage of the Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Resolution.

"Last November the American people chose new leadership because they wanted a new direction for our country, a direction that builds on our common values and places a premium on putting our middle class families first," said Senator Stabenow. "This budget is an embodiment of our national priorities. It balances the government's checkbook while making sure that we have the resources we need for priorities like children's health care, education, and taking care of our veterans. At the same time, it provides working families with the tax relief they need to keep more of their hard earned money in their pocket. I am proud to have fought hard and helped deliver a budget that reflects our middle class values and works for American businesses, American workers and American families."

The Senate budget reflects the values that are important to middle class families, making sure the federal government restores fiscal discipline while properly funding national priorities like children's health care, education, veteran's health care and other programs that effect working Americans every day. At the same time this budget puts in place tax cuts targeted at working Americans, including making permanent the 10% tax bracket, Marriage Penalty Relief and the Child Tax Credit and providing relief for millions of middle class families from the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT).

A Return to Fiscal Discipline—Balancing the Government's Checkbook:

The FY08 Senate Budget Resolution returns America to a balanced budget, with a target date of 2012 for completely erasing the federal deficit and achieving a surplus of around $132 billion.

Tax Cuts That Work for Middle Class Families:

This budget includes tax cuts that make sense for middle class families, making permanent the 10% tax bracket, Marriage Penalty Relief and the Child Tax Credit as well as adjustments to the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). If no changes are made in the law, millions of middle class families will become subject to the AMT in the coming years. This budget provides AMT relief for 2007 and 2008, providing millions of middle-class Americans with tax cuts.

Investing in Middle Class Families:

The Democratic budget provides funding designed to help us meet our national priorities, both by increasing funds for certain programs and restoring funding cut under previous Republican budgets.

Investing in Education and Innovation - The FY08 Senate budget rejects the President's cuts to education, instead increasing investment in education by $6.1 billion. Education policy is economic policy, and this funding increase will mean a real difference in terms of creating opportunities for countless working class families.

Keeping Our Promise to America's Veterans - We must keep our promises to American Veterans. The Senate budget addresses shortfalls in the President's plan when it comes to our Veterans and their health care, setting aside an additional $3.5 billion for Veterans health care in 2008 alone.

Health Insurance for America's Children - Health care should be a right, not a privilege in America, and an important first step is making sure that all of our children have health insurance. The resolution provides up to $50 billion - twenty-five more times than the President proposed - for the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), expanding coverage of the estimated six million children eligible but not enrolled in either SCHIP or Medicaid.

Other examples of priorities addressed by the budget include: Keeping our streets safe through increased funding for the COPS Program, making sure Medicare and Medicaid have the resources they need, investing in technology, innovation and research and development and ensuring that help is available when times get tough, such as providing home heating assistance through the LIHEAP Program

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