Cantwell Statement on FY2012 Budget

Cantwell: 'Washington state jobs must come first'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement Monday regarding the FY2012 budget:
“Like families at kitchen tables across America, it’s time for Washington, D.C., to make tough economic decisions to bring spending under control, while delivering job creation, fostering innovation, and building a 21st-century economy.
“I applaud President Obama for continuing to invest in clean energy jobs, technological innovation, and programs that are helping put American families back to work. We need to pass a budget that makes responsible cuts without endangering job-creating programs that are critical to our economic recovery. As we debate the 2012 budget, Washington state jobs must come first.”
Senator Cantwell also made the following comments regarding specific proposals in President Obama’s budget and the House of Representatives’ proposed FY11 Continuing Resolution.
“America’s transportation systems are critical to keeping businesses competitive, but they are rapidly aging. This problem is particularly important in Washington state, where exports account for half of the job growth in the last 30 years. The President has proposed an increase in critical surface transportation infrastructure program funding, including for the first time ever intercity passenger rail projects, as well as an increase in the NextGen air transportation modernization program. The future of our nation’s global competitiveness depends on programs like these, which will improve transportation efficiency, grow our economy, and create jobs.”
Army Corps
“The President’s budget continues to significantly underfund the Army Corps of Engineers. Reducing the Army Corps’ budget by $913 million over FY10 levels puts at risk important flood mitigation, infrastructure, and water projects across our state – from Walla Walla to Centralia to the Skagit River, and beyond. Washingtonians know all too well the dangers extreme weather and crumbling infrastructure pose to our economy and families.”
Public Lands/Environment
“I’m pleased that the President reiterated his commitment to our public lands by requesting full funding of $900 million for the Land & Water Conservation Fund in his FY12 budget. This contrasts with the irresponsible House Republican plan, which proposes cutting this critical environmental conservation program by 87 percent ($393 million) for FY11.
“The House plan would also cut vital funds for the Puget Sound Recovery and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. I’ll fight to ensure that these crucial programs are fully funded.”
“After two years of attempting to shortchange our farmers, President Obama has recognized the critical need to make agricultural exports a national priority by fully funding the Market Access Program (MAP). MAP is good for our country, our farmers, and our economy, helping to create farm jobs and expand markets for agricultural products grown across the state. MAP is authorized at $200 million through the end of the current Farm Bill.”
“The President has recognized the critical importance of clean energy to our future by proposing strong funding for research, development, and demonstration of emerging energy technologies, including wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, energy efficiency, and smart grid technologies. While I have concerns about cuts in a few areas, such as for water power and fuel cells, on the whole I think the President has found a good balance. He is advocating for essential investments that will create 21st century jobs, promote innovation, and decrease our reliance on foreign oil. By making these investments, we will grow our economy and reduce the deficit.”
“Washington state can lead the way in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, and I’m pleased that President Obama has proposed an investment that will help prepare teachers to train future leaders and innovators in the STEM fields. The Administration’s commitment to hire 100,000 new STEM teachers over the next decade is a down payment on our economic future.”
 Financial Regulation
“I was very pleased to see that President Obama’s budget moves forward on the implementation of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The House proposal would weaken our oversight of the over-the-counter derivatives markets that did so much damage to the U.S. economy. With Washingtonians still experiencing high unemployment, families losing their homes to foreclosure, and small businesses unable to access all the credit they need to grow, it is absolutely necessary to provide the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with the resources they need to do their jobs. President Obama’s budget represents a good balance between responsible spending and needed resources for market oversight and enforcement.”
Health Care
“I am pleased that the President invested in key programs that keep Washingtonians healthy, including: investments in Head Start and Early Head Start, funding for mental health services for military families, and funding for the Indian Health Service, which will help efforts to deliver quality care to tribes. I’m also pleased to see the President invest in basic and applied biomedical research, which will drive innovation and cost savings for the future.”