Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today found much to cheer in President Clinton's budget for fiscal year 2001. "The President is backing the visionary words of his State of the Union Address with real money," said Pelosi. "After painting a broad landscape on January 27, he has now followed up by giving us a detailed view of the nation's future. For the most part, I am highly encouraged."
Pelosi also underscored the significance of the federal budget. "It is a tangible expression of our values. By attending to the integrity of Social Security, extending the longevity of Medicare, expanding access to prescription drugs, and improving the care and education of our children, the President is demonstrating a commitment to our social and family values and to our economic and fiscal well-being."
The San Francisco Democrat continues to be disappointed in the President's affection for excessive military spending. "Given the absence of external threats at this point in our history, we have the rare opportunity to create a truly livable America for all Americans. We must learn that the true and lasting strength of our nation rests on the health and well-being of our people," said Pelosi, who also remains concerned that far too many Americans are failing to benefit from the current prosperity. "While the economy booms and unemployment and inflation reach new lows, one in every four of our children still lives in poverty. This picture is deeply flawed," Pelosi said.
Representative Pelosi commended the President for highlighting education and the environment. The budget accelerates the renovation and modernization of our schools by adding $1.3 billion to a 10-year, $8-billion tax incentive to stimulate school investments. It also adds $450 million to existing programs to hire 100,000 new teachers and reduce class size. In 2001, the $1.4-billion Lands Legacy Initiative will allocate $600 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire land and help states conserve their remaining open space. The Livable Communities Initiative includes Better America Bonds, a financing tool funded through federal tax credits that will generate $10.8 billion in bond authority for state, local, and tribal governments to preserve green space, create or restore urban parks, protect water quality, and clean up brownfields and other contaminated lands.
As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor -- Health and Human Services -- Education, Pelosi has given top priority to increased funding for health programs, especially those for AIDS prevention, care, and research. She is pleased with the $125-million proposed increase (to $1.7 billion) for the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides treatment and services to thousands of people with HIV and AIDS. She was disappointed, however, that the President has proposed only a $26-million increase (to $554 million) in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP).
Congresswoman Pelosi also expressed support for the proposed $66-million increase (to $795 million) for HIV prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes a $26-million increase in funding for international HIV prevention efforts, and a $40-million increase for domestic HIV prevention. Since her election to Congress in 1987, Pelosi has relentlessly fought for increased funding for HIV prevention. Last year, she led the fight to win a $20-million increase for HIV prevention at CDC.
Pelosi also highlights the President's request for $27 million for the Environmental Health Laboratory at CDC. Technology being developed by the Lab will help scientists determine the effects of human exposure to hundreds of potentially toxic chemicals in the environment. Over the last two years, Pelosi has successfully fought for substantial increases in the Lab budget. Similarly, she commends the President for proposing a $5-million increase (to $171 million) in the CDC's Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening program.
Pelosi applauded the $1-billion increase (to $18.8 billion) for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "Nevertheless, we will need to move quickly to a doubling of NIH funding over the five years," Pelosi warned. She also noted the $105-million increase (to $2.1 billion) for AIDS-related research at NIH. Investments in AIDS research have paid enormous dividends in developing powerful new therapies. "The President's increase in HIV/AIDS funding is a reasonable start, but we must fight for funding above the Administration's request, especially in the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which provides life-saving drugs to people with HIV who cannot afford to pay for the drugs on their own," Pelosi said.
In housing and labor programs, Pelosi expressed support for the following budget proposals:
Locally, key projects in San Francisco will continue to receive the federal support needed to see them through to completion:
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