Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today commended President Clinton for submitting to Congress a budget blueprint by which Congressional Democrats can begin to address the needs of the American people. "The federal budget is an expression of our national values," said Pelosi, "and by committing the budget surplus to saving Social Security, expanding access to Medicare and improving the education of our children, we are sending a positive message to the American people about our values and our commitment to fiscal responsibility and deficit reduction."
However, Rep. Pelosi has expressed disappointment with the President's plan to increase defense spending. "When the President proposes $6 billion for a long term health care tax credit and a $110 billion increase in defense spending, Americans have to question our priorities. We must define the strength of our nation not only in terms of our military might but also in the investment we make in the health and well-being of our people," Pelosi said. Pelosi remains concerned that for far too many Americans, the economic boom is a bust. "The economy is booming, unemployment and inflation are at record lows, and one in four children still lives in poverty. There is something terribly wrong with this picture," Pelosi said.
Rep. Pelosi commended the President for making education, child care, the environment and housing budget priorities and for recognizing the contributions of legal immigrants. The budget proposal includes $4.1 billion to reduce class size; $17 billion for child care; $1 billion for land acquisition and preservation under the Land and Water Conservation Fund; and $1.12 billion to fight homelessness through HUD's Continuum of Care, which supports local programs like those run by Catholic Charities and the Private Industry Council of San Francisco. The proposal restores many of the benefits taken away from legal immigrants when the President signed the 1996 welfare reform law, including $60 million to extend Food Stamps to legal immigrants in the United States on August 22, 1996 who subsequently reach age 65.
"While these are positive initiatives, we must do more to ensure economic justice, improve education, protect the environment and set the stage for an America in which all Americans share in our prosperity. Investing in these priorities builds a stronger America that will ensure our global leadership and economic and national security well into the 21st century," Pelosi said.
As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor-Health and Human Services and Education, Pelosi has made increased funding for AIDS prevention, care and research a top priority. "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.
The President's FY2000 request for HIV/AIDS includes:
Locally, key projects in San Francisco will continue to receive the federal support needed to see them through to completion:
The $1.77 trillion FY2000 budget proposal represents a 2.3% increase or $39 billion dollars over the current fiscal year and projects a record $117 billion surplus.
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