Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement in response to the release of President Barack Obama’s budget plan for fiscal year 2015:
“President Obama’s budget outline is a helpful tool to fill in the details of the budget agreed to by the Congress last year. Overall, I share the President’s commitment to investing in America and working to ensure our economy is working for all Americans. While I am still reviewing all the details, there are some good specifics in this budget plan, including: increased funding for education, support for low- and middle-income households, boosts to public transit projects in Maryland and transportation infrastructure projects, funding to support the special needs of Holocaust survivors living in the U.S., as well as a modest adjustment for federal workers’ pay – as opposed to the years of a pay freeze. However, I am extremely disappointed in the lack of investment in overall funding for the National Institutes of Health, particularly with regard to eliminating health disparities and improving oral health. Even if the President’s budget is not translated into a budget resolution, I am concerned about many of the markers set down for appropriators, such as flat funding for the Chesapeake Bay, additional cost sharing burdens on Medicare beneficiaries, reductions in water infrastructure funding, and cuts to LIHEAP after one of the coldest winters on record.
“To put our nation on a healthy fiscal track, we need a long-term budget agreement that raises sufficient revenue to fund a government that promotes growth and controls the long-term costs of mandatory spending. Such a plan would be incomplete without changes to our tax code and consideration of health care savings already realized, as well as future reforms. A balanced plan that reforms our tax code, invests in America and reduces our deficit is possible with reasonable compromise. Compromise is not easy, but it is necessary.”