Today President Obama released his FY2014 budget.
Congresswoman Tsongas issued the following statement:
"I appreciate that the President's budget proposal offers a balanced plan to grow our economy and create jobs while also making a serious commitment to reduce our deficit. I agree with him that it is possible to do both in a reasonable, responsible way.
"I applaud the President's focus on making America a "magnet for jobs" now and well into the future. His budget encourages job creation by investing in high-tech manufacturing and innovation and clean energy companies which represent a growing sector of our regional economy. This investment coupled with more robust funding for infrastructure, research and education will help ensure that high-quality and high-paying jobs remain here, that Americans have the skills necessary to secure them, and that our workforce will continue to be competitive in our global economy.
"The President's vision seeks long-term deficit reduction and combines targeted spending cuts with new revenue sources, just as every bipartisan group that has looked at this problem has suggested.
"However, I have strong concerns with several key areas. For example, I believe the President's request for a new round of base closures is premature as we are still waiting to start seeing the savings from the 2005 round of base closures. At a time when the Pentagon is being asked to find significant savings, adding the immediate cost of additional domestic base closures doesn't seem wise. I also have concerns about the proposal to change the way Social Security benefits are determined. The impact of such a change would be felt across the entire federal government and by nearly every American and I believe it is necessary to carefully consider the consequences.
"And, I see a need for greater investment in vitally-needed community development block grants which have been underfunded in the President's budget. These grants provide maximum flexibility to local governments in spurring economic growth; communities I represent like Lawrence, Lowell and Fitchburg have demonstrated that CDBG funding has a high return on investment.
"With the House and Senate having both passed budgets, it is time for both sides to come together to make tough decisions, turn off the sequester, enact a fair, balanced budget and spur more robust economic growth in America."