Press Release

February 13, 2012

“We need to get Americans working again. I am encouraged that the budget unveiled by President Obama keeps our fragile economy moving closer toward recovery by investing in American businesses and American workers. I share the President’s desire to ensure that we as a nation can out-compete anyone, anywhere around the globe, especially with the help of targeted education and training programs for the workers of today and the future. I applaud the President for taking a balanced approach to tackling the long-term fiscal challenges facing the U.S. and bringing our budget into greater balance. I hope Congress is bold enough to follow his lead in this area.

“As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I look forward to reviewing all of the details of the President’s budget framework. I agree with the President that we need a budget that balances both revenue and spending cuts with strategic investments that will help our nation regain a firm financial ground that fosters economic growth that benefits all Americans. However, after an initial review, I do have some concerns about how the President reaches some of his specific goals. I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues to find the best path forward for our nation.

“I agree with the President that investing in the training of students and workers through our quality community colleges is a great way to connect skilled workers with businesses ready to hire. His recommended investments in restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay also have the potential to pay great dividends for Maryland’s economy and for that of the entire Chesapeake Watershed region.

“I also was pleased to see the President support an end to the two-year pay-freeze for federal workers, who have thus far made a $60 billion contribution to solving our fiscal problems. These middle-class workers have been shouldering this burden while tax cuts have remained in place for millionaires and billionaires. I feel strongly that we should have a greater level of fairness in the federal budget rather than further penalize these public servants through harmful cuts to their retirement security. And while I applaud the investments proposed to support our health care system through the Department of Health and Human Services, deep cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and flat-funding for the National Institutes of Health should be reconsidered, because Americans rely on these   agencies to protect us from bioterrorism and communicable diseases and lead the world in finding cures for debilitating diseases such as cancer and diabetes. 

“I do have concerns about the drop in funding for the State Revolving Water Funds.  Our aging water infrastructure system poses risks for our local communities. Investments in Chesapeake Bay restoration make good sense.  We should be doing the same with our aging water infrastructure.  According to a national study, for every $1 of public investment in water projects, our economy grows by $6.35.  We need to increase our investment to realize the economic benefits and the job opportunities associated with repairing and upgrading our water infrastructure.”

Last year, Senator Cardin and Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) introduced a bill (S. 1681) that would prohibit Congress from considering any legislation unless a budget resolution is passed by the April 15 deadline.  April 15 is the date by which Congress is required by law to pass a budget resolution.