U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said the budget blueprint for 2014, which passed the Senate early Saturday morning, will rein in spending, help grow Minnesota's economy, and protect the middle class. It also included amendments Sen. Franken introduced and supported to reflect Minnesota's priorities.
He made the following statement after the resolution passed:
"I believe a budget reflects your values and your priorities. On behalf of Minnesotans, my goal was to pass a budget that invests in our middle class, our veterans, and our seniors, while protecting the most vulnerable among us. Today in the Senate, I believe we did just that.
"The budget I supported today is not perfect, but it strikes a necessary balance between reducing our deficit and making the critical investments in education, infrastructure, and innovation that will create jobs and prosperity. It reduces spending, and raises new revenues by closing expensive loopholes that have either run their course or that benefit only a few very wealthy Americans.
"I'm very pleased to have been part of a bipartisan group of senators that was able to demonstrate support for repealing the medical device tax, which stifles innovation and costs Minnesota jobs. And I'm also pleased that my amendments to support investments in college affordability and rural broadband were incorporated into the budget.
"Finally, this budget will allow us to pass a much-needed five-year Farm Bill and to invest in long-overdue infrastructure improvements - and I will keep fighting for funding for projects like the Lewis and Clark Rural water project in southwest Minnesota.
"Overall, I think this is a responsible budget that continues to rein in the deficit and will help our economy prosper."
Sen. Franken Successfully Passed Amendments in Budget that Reflect Minnesota Priorities
Sen. Franken's amendments that were included address:
Encourage the creation of a universal financial aid form so students and their families can accurately compare the costs of different colleges; this amendment is based on his Understanding the True Cost of College Act.
Prioritize projects geared towards promoting and building broadband networks in rural areas.
Allow for repeal of the $30 billion dollar Medical device tax; Sen. Franken was a lead cosponsor of the amendment.
Allow for the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would end the unfair advantage online-only retailers have over Minnesota's brick-and-mortar stores.