Our economy is finally beginning to show some positive signs following the worst recession since the Great Depression, but too many Marylanders and families across our country are still hurting, and too many people are still searching for jobs.
As a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Budget Committee in the 112th Congress, I am committed to developing and overseeing policies that will help grow our economy and create job opportunities for people in Maryland and all across the country. It is crucial that we invest in core programs that will restore America's competitive edge globally and help create jobs today and into the future. Maryland is among the nation's leaders in innovative technologies like alternative energy, biotech, health information systems and cybersecurity, all of which are critical to our economic development.
As a member of the Senate Small Business Committee, I also recognize that small businesses are at the heart of our nation's economy and job creation. I will continue to work to ensure Maryland's small businesses have access to credit and other tools essential for their success.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has brought over $6 billion in funding and more than 7,500 jobs to Maryland since it was enacted in 2009.
The Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closure program (BRAC) will create more than 20,000 new jobs in Maryland in 2011 and 60,000 new jobs in the state by 2015.
Ben co-authored a provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill that increases the FDIC-insured deposit limit from $100,000 to $250,000, which helps ensure safe and secure depositories for small businesses and individuals alike.
How does Congress's agreement to raise the debt ceiling protect domestic priorities and our bedrock social safety net programs?
The agreement provides for nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction during the next 10 years. But importantly, it protects domestic priorities by allowing more than $40 billion in discretionary domestic spending next year than the Republican budget that passed the House. The agreement also calls for at least an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction to be agreed to later this year. The failure to enact these additional reductions would trigger across-the-board cuts. The package balances these cuts equally between defense and domestic programs, and -- a very important point -- it protects Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. For a detailed breakdown of the agreement, read the
DEBT CEILING AGREEMENT SUMMARY.
How do we balance the budget without endangering the economic recovery?
I have spoken on the Senate floor to outline what I believe it will take to get control of our deficit while also ensuring our economic recovery and future prosperity. We did this before in the 1990's under President Clinton and we can do it again, but we must face facts: a credible budget plan involves cuts to military and domestic spending, control of entitlement spending and reform of our tax code. Cuts to domestic spending alone -- education, job training, and public transportation, among others -- will threaten our recovery and cannot balance the budget. In dealing with our budget deficit, any action we take must continue to move our economy forward -- not add to our problems and reduce chances of an economic recovery.